[Gooseberries and Currants: The Genus Ribes in Mt. Adams Country]
Coast Black Gooseberry, Spreading Gooseberry, Straggly Currant, Straggly Gooseberry
Ribes divaricatum var. divaricatum
Synonyms: Grossularia divaricata, Ribes divaricatum var. glabriflorum, Ribes divaricatum var. rigidum, Ribes suksdorfii
The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of of straggly currant as seen at the Conboy Lake NWR headquarters to the southeast of Mt. Adams.........May 10, 2008. Note the heart-shaped to wedge-shaped petals and the reddish-purple sepals which reflex upwards (or backwards) as the flower matures.
The photo at right shows a close-up of the flower of straggly currant as seen at the Conboy Lake NWR headquarters to the southeast of Mt. Adams........May 10, 2008. Note the glabrous filaments and the hairy styles.
Straggly currant is also called wax currant or coast black currant.
It is a deciduous, spreading shrub with many branches from 1.5-3 meters high.
It commonly may have several thicker branches which may arch over. The bark
is gray to brownish and unarmed except where the leaves attach. The younger
twigs are whitish or purplish gray and 2-3 mm thick. The 1-3 spines found at
each leaf node are downward curving and 10-20 mm long. The leaves are small,
2-6 cm wide, and simple with palmate venation. The blades are ovate in shape
and have 3-5 lobes with toothed margins. The petioles may be shorter to slightly
longer than the blades.
The inflorescence is a drooping, slender, 2-4 flowered raceme
which arises from the leaf axils. Individual flowers are conical or shallowly-spreading
bell-shaped. The calyx lobes are narrowly oblong, obtuse, or rounded and 5-7
mm long The petals are wedge-shaped to obovate, 1.5-2.5 mm long, and about less
than half as long as the calyx lobes. The stamens are longer than the calyx
by more than 1-2 mm. The berries are reddish purple, occur in 2s or 3s, rounded,
and about 1 cm in diameter.
Straggly currant is found in moist open woods and hillsides,
and is common along streams.
Straggly currant may be found from southern British Columbia
south to California. It is found eastward to southwestern Alberta.
The photo above shows the ventral leaf blade (left) and dorsal leaf blade (right) of straggly currant as seen at the Conboy Lake NWR headquarters to the southeast of Mt. Adams........May 10, 2008.
Another close-up view of the flower of straggly currant as seen at the Conboy Lake NWR headquarters to the southeast of Mt. Adams..........May 10, 2008.
Mature fruits of straggly currant observed at the rest area at BZ Corners, WA.......July 9, 2019.
Straggly currant observed on rocky ground adjacent to the Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge headquarters.......May 1, 2018.
The photo above shows a close-up of the flower and leaf of straggly currant as seen along the upper Klickitat River about 8 miles southeast of Glenwood, WA..........May 3, 2008. Note the sharp spine at the leaf node.