Golden currant (Ribes aureum var. aureum) flowers near the Truckee River. Photo: K. Fitzgerald.
Ribes aureum var. aureum
- Leaves: smooth, bright green, three or five-lobed.
- Flowers: Yellow, trumpet-shaped (March-May).
- Branches: No thorns.
- Fruit: Orange, sweet, juicy berries.
This early-blooming shrub brightens the banks of the Truckee River in March and April with abundant yellow flowers. Golden current can grow to ten feet tall, and does well in a variety of habitats, including flood plains and riparian areas (Marshall 1995).
The Paiute called this plant “pokops”. Berries can be eaten raw, dried, or used for jellies (Murphey, 1958). Birds and small mammals enjoy the berries as well.
References & Links
Marshall, K. Anna. 1995. Ribes aureum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/ribaur/all.html [2016, March 31].
Murphey, Edith Van Allen. 1958. Indian Uses of Native Plants. Glenwood, Illinois: Meyerbooks.
USDA. 2016. Plants profile for Ribes aureum var. aureum. Available: http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=RIAUA