PNW Landscape Plant Guide

brought to you by the plant geeks at Calendula Farm

Red Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum)

Red Flowering Currants are a classic Pacific Northwest native shrub that can get 6-10 feet tall and is one of the early blooming heralds of spring. Sometime between late March and late April this shrub explodes with drooping clusters of brilliant reddish pink (or pinkish red, depending on your attitude that day) blooms. You can prune it at the end of summer to the size you like.
In bloom it is a showstopper, a jaw dropper, a cause of mass rubber-necking. And not just for humans. The local native bees and honeybees and hummingbirds who are out early in the season get their groove thang on with all the nectar the flowers provide. By early summer, the pollinated blooms have turned to berries that provide food for our local songbirds. If you are human, you can try eating one. They’re not poisonous, but you’ll not likely go back for seconds. Leave them for the birds.