Alphabetical Plant Listing

Ribes cereum (Wax Currant)

Wax Currant, White Squaw Currant, Western Red Currant, Whisky Currant


Ribes cereum (Wax Currant) is a compact, mound-forming, deciduous shrub with numerous smooth-barked branches clad with small, somewhat rounded, 3-5 lobed leaves. The light-green foliage is studded with resin glands and warms up to shades of yellow in the fall. In mid spring to mid summer, a profusion of pale pink, bell-shaped flowers appear in drooping clusters. They attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. The blossoms give way to bright-red berries. The fruits are used for making jam, jelly, or pie - unless hungry birds feast on them. Wax Currant is not rhizomatous and reproduces mainly by seed. This western US native provides food and cover for wildlife and is sometimes grown as an ornamental.

  • Grows up to 3-5 ft. tall and wide (90-150 cm).
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in dry, rocky or sandy, well-drained soils.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Wax Currant is an alternate host for white pine blister rust which infests five-needled pines.
  • Propagate by seed. Seeds require scarification to germinate
  • Native from British Columbia to northern California east to Montana, Nebraska, Colorado, and New Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 8
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ribes - Currants
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 36" – 60" (90cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fruit & Berries
Native Plants California, Midwest, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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USDA NRCS Montana, Andrey Zharkikh, Flickr

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 8
Plant Type Shrubs
Plant Family Ribes - Currants
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spread 3' – 5' (90cm – 150cm)
Spacing 36" – 60" (90cm – 150cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fruit & Berries
Native Plants California, Midwest, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Ribes - Currants

Guides with Ribes - Currants

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