Our Plants

March 2004 Plant Highlight: Ribes speciosum

Image of R. speciosum

The various species of Ribes, commonly known as gooseberries and currants, are widely distributed in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere in both North America and Eurasia. They belong to the family Grossulariaceae. The group known as gooseberries have spiny branches and were formerly placed in the genus Grossularia. Currants, on the other hand, lack spines. Both groups contain species grown for their fruit as well as ones grown for their ornamental features, whether flowers, fruit, or leaves (often lobed or toothed).

Ribes speciosum , our featured plant, is known as the fuchsia-flowering gooseberry due to its bright-red pendant flowers, which are somewhat reminiscent of slender Fuchsia flowers. It comes from coastal regions of the southern half of California and down into Baja California. In nature, plants are summer-deciduous, in keeping with the dry-summer climate of its native area, but the leafless period can be kept brief with some judicious watering during the summer months.

Image of R. speciosum flower

Photo and text by Brian Kemble

Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Centennial Celebration
We are celebrating Garden Founder Ruth Bancroft's 100th year throughout 2009. If you would like to get involved in this historic milestone, you can help by contributing to the Centennial Fund or by attending on of our many special events this year.
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