Monday, March 1, 2010

Ribes sanguineum/ Flowering Current

I love this plant, it is a true sign to me that Spring is here. This shrub was planted in the front garden about 15 years ago. During the first 10 years I have never done much clipping on it, just to keep it in control. In the last five years I have been pruning it into a tall cylinder shape, never clipping the top. Want the height, it is a very dominant plant in the front garden.
Beautiful soft pink five petal flowers hanging like a small cluster of grapes. Hummingbirds love them as well as chickadees, finches, and sparrows flitting about through the shrub hopefully they are finding bugs to eat.
Ribes sanguineum is a native deciduous shrub here in the Pacific Northwest and it is found from British Columbia to California. It does best in well drained soil in a sunny location and less well in heavy soil and shade. Blooms range in colors of pale pink, pink, rose, magenta, fuchsia, red, and scarlet. Does bare fruit not very palatable for humans, but perfect for songbirds. Leaves are very maple like and turn a bronze color in the fall. A perfect plant for a drought tolerant garden in the Northwest.
USDA hardiness zone 5 to zone 8

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