Ribes sanguineum

flowering currant

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

The native flowering currant welcomes spring with a showy array of rosy-pink buds softening to a rich, clear pink. The early spring flowers have a spicy fragrance and are a favorite of over-wintering hummingbirds. This deciduous shrub is a vigorous grower and a reliable performer in the garden. Use as a single filler shrub to add a splash of spring color or group together to form an informal screen. Combinations with hellebores, spring bulbs or early rhododendrons create an excellent foil for the sparkling blooms. Mix the typical form with white and red flowering currants for a celebration of color at a time when little else is in bloom.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: upright shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 8 ft. 0 in. (2.44 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 to 9

Flower Color: pink

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun is best; but does fine in shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once established

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: silver, gold, burgundy

Great Color Partners: chartreuse, dark green, pink

Culture Notes
Tough and durable, flowering currant tolerates poor soils and drought once established. In very dry locations, occasional summer watering will promote better growth. The best bloom is in full sun, but it will still have plenty of flowers in partial sun and bright open shade. Very little pruning is required to maintain the loose upright habit. If a branch strays too much out of bounds it can be removed. Plants will often sucker to form a small patch.