15. Ribes sanguineum Pursh, Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 164. 1813.
Red-flowering currant Red-flowering currant
Plants 1-4 m. Stems erect, finely pubescent, stipitate-glandular; spines at nodes absent; prickles on internodes absent. Leaves: petiole 2-7 cm, puberulent, short stipitate-glandular; blade broadly reniform or cordate-orbiculate to deltate-ovate, nearly equally to irregularly 5-lobed, cleft nearly 1/4 to midrib, 2-7 cm, base subtruncate to cordate, surfaces puberulent to whitish-tomentose abaxially, puberulent adaxially or puberulent and colorless, sessile-glandular on both surfaces, lobes deltate to obtuse, margins finely 2-3 times crenate and denticulate or serrate, apex broadly acute. Inflorescences pendent to stiffly spreading or ascending or erect, 5-40-flowered racemes, 5-15 cm, axis crisped-pubescent and stipitate-glandular, flowers evenly spaced. Pedicels jointed, 5-10 mm, pubescent, stipitate-glandular; bracts oblanceolate or lanceolate, 2-12 mm, with scattered, short hairs and stalked glands. Flowers: hypanthium white, pink, rose, or red, tubular to campanulate, 3-7 mm, pubescent, stipitate-glandular; sepals not overlapping, spreading or reflexed, white, pink, or red, ovate-elliptic or oblong to oblanceolate or lanceolate, 4-5 mm; petals not or nearly connivent to connivent, erect, white or pink to red, obovate-spatulate to oblong or almost square, not conspicuously revolute or inrolled, 1-3.5 mm; nectary disc not prominent; stamens shorter than to as long as petals; filaments linear or slightly expanded at base, 1.2-2 mm, glabrous; anthers cream, oblong-oval, 0.5-0.8 mm, apex shallowly notched; ovary stipitate-glandular to strongly stipitate-glandular and crisped-puberulent; styles connate nearly to stigmas, 4-6 mm, glabrous or with scattered, stipitate glands at base. Berries palatable but insipid, blue-black, glaucous, ovoid or globose, 3-9(-10) mm, yellowish or greenish stipitate-glandular. 2n = 16.
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora): nw North America, introduced in c Europe.
Ribes sanguineum is widely cultivated. It begins to bloom very early in the season, providing a nectar source for pollinators when little else is available.