[The Currant Family West of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

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

Flower of Coast Black Gooseberry, Spreading Gooseberry, Straggly Currant, Straggly Gooseberry: Ribes divaricatum var. divaricatum (Synonyms: Ribes divaricatum var. glabriflorum, Ribes divaricatum var. rigidum)

The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of straggly gooseberry as seen from along the Springwater Trail west of Palmblad Avenue in eastern Gresham, OR...........May 24, 2011. Note the numerous spreading hairs on the filaments and the small, ciliate-margined bracts at the base of the peduncle.

Characteristics: 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.
Habitat: Straggly currant is found in moist open woods and hillsides, and is common along streams.
Range: Straggly currant may be found from southern British Columbia south to California. It is found eastward to southwestern Alberta.In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-2100' from Troutdale, OR east to near Bingen, WA.

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)

Dorsal leaf surface of 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) - Dorsal leaf surface of 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)

Additional close-up photos of straggly gooseberry as seen from along the Springwater Trail west of Palmblad Avenue in eastern Gresham, OR................May 24, 2011.

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) - 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)

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) - 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)

Straggly currant blooming at Nob Hill Park in St. Helens, OR.........April 3, 2016.

Leaves of Coast Black Gooseberry, Spreading Gooseberry, Straggly Currant, Straggly Gooseberry: Ribes divaricatum var. divaricatum (Synonyms: Ribes divaricatum var. glabriflorum, Ribes divaricatum var. rigidum)
The photo above shows the ventral leaf blade (upper) and dorsal leaf blade (lower) of straggly currant as seen at Ainsworth State Park in the western Columbia River Gorge..........April 20, 2006.

Paul Slichter