A close-up of the flowers of Ribes bracteosum from Latourell Falls in the Columbia River Gorge..............mid-May, 2001.
Stink currant (sometimes called blue currant) is an aromatic (malodorous) shrub with erect growth habit from 1-3 meters in height. The leaves are orbicular, 10-20 cm across with heart-shaped bases, and 5-7 narrow lobes with sharply double-toothed margins. The upper leaf surfaces are glandless and sparsely hairy while the lower surfaces are sticky glandular.
The inflorescence are ascending to erect racemes from 10-23 cm long with many flowers. The flowers are saucer-shaped and range from 1-1.5 mm deep. The 5 sepals are pale green to whitish and spreading. The petals are small and white. The stamens are roughly the same size, or slightly longer than the petals. The style is divided about halfway to its base. The fruits are bluish-black with a white bloom and many yellow glands.
Stink currant is typically found in dense thickets along streams and in moist, shady woods at all elevations.
Stink currant is found from Alaska to California, It is found entirely west of the Cascade crest in the Pacific Northwest. On Mt. Adams, it can be found in moist woods along Rd 23 from Council Lake south to Swampy Meadows and westward, downslope into the upper Lewis River drainage.