[The Currant Family East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Sticky Currant

Ribes viscosissimum

Synonyms: Ribes hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. viscosissimum

Ribes viscosissimum

This photo shows a close-up of the glandular inflorescence and leaves of sticky currant as seen along forest road #4030 on the eastern slopes of Mt. Misery in the Umatilla N.F. of southeastern Oregon.........July 7, 2008.

Photo at right of a pink flowered form of sticky currant from the Reecer Creek Rd #35, on Table Mt., Wenatchee N.F.......June 23, 1997.
Characteristics:

Sticky currant is an unarmed shrub from 1-3 meters high with an aromatic odor. Its growth habit is erect to spreading, and it is often rather straggly. The young stems are hairy and glandular, aging to reddish-brown and glaucous. The bark often shreds. The leaves are orbicular to kidney-shaped with a shallow to deeply heart-shaped base, usually with 5 lobes, the lobes lined with coarsely toothed margins. They essentially look like miniature maple leaves. The blades are covered with soft, sticky hairs on both surfaces and measure 2.5-7.5 cm across. The petioles are densely glandular-hairy.

The inflorescence is a more or less drooping (spreading, drooping, or arching from the leaf axils) raceme of 3-13 bell-shaped flowers. The racemes measure 3-13 cm long. The flowers are each 2 cm long. The calyx is a cylindrical tube with 5 erect, greenish-yellow lobes. The 5 petals are cream-colored and 2.5-4 mm long. The fruit is a black, glandular berry without a bloom and from 8-11 mm long.

The plants are an alternate host for white pine blister rust (plant disease) The plants are berries are not palatable to animals nor humans. The plants are among the first shrubs which are found in clearcuts and burnt areas at higher elevations.


Habitat:

Sticky currant is found on moist, warm and moist, and cool sites in grand and subalpine fir (subalpine coniferous forest) plant communities.


Range:

Sticky currant is found from British Columbia south to the east of the crest of the Cascades to California, and eastward to southwestern Alberta, Montana and Colorado.


Frontal view of the flower of Ribes viscosissimum - Inflorescence of Ribes viscosissimum - Inflorescence of Ribes viscosissimum

These 3 photos show close-ups of the flowers of sticky currant as seen along forest road #4030 on the eastern slopes of Mt. Misery in the Umatilla N.F. of southeastern Oregon...........July 7, 2008. Click each photo to see an enlarged version (2x).

Sticky Currant: Ribes viscosissimum (Synonym: Ribes hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. viscosissimum) - Sticky Currant: Ribes viscosissimum (Synonym: Ribes hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. viscosissimum)

Close-up images of the maturing fruits of sticky currant as seen along the Round Mountain Trail #805, Ochoco National Forest...........August 9, 2014.

Sticky Currant: Ribes viscosissimum (Synonym: Ribes hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. viscosissimum) - Sticky Currant: Ribes viscosissimum (Synonym: Ribes hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. hallii, Ribes viscosissimum var. viscosissimum)

Sticky currant blooming at the junction of the Roads End and Onion Creek Trails, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness...........August 3, 2011.

The photo above shows close-up of the leaf of sticky currant as seen along Forest Road #4650 (Table Mt. Road) several miles to the west of Coyote Campground in the northern Wallowa-Whitman National Forest............June 26, 2008.

Sticky Currant: Ribes viscosissimum var. viscosissimum

White flowered form of sticky currant seen along Forest Service Road #635, Wenatchee National Forest...........June 5, 2009.

Inflorescence of Sticky Currant: Ribes viscosissimum var. viscosissimum

A close-up of a pink-tinged inflorescence of sticky currant as seen on Wedge Mountain, Wenatchee National Forest..........June 8, 2009.

Paul Slichter