E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Ribes bracteosum Douglas ex Hook.
stink currant
Grossulariaceae (Currant family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2427)

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Distribution of Ribes bracteosum
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Species Information

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Deciduous shrub, loosely branched, 1-3 m tall; stems more or less erect, unarmed, covered with round, yellow, crystalline glands; bark brownish.
Alternate, mapleleaf-shaped, 3-22 cm long, 3-24 cm wide, 5- to 7-lobed, the lobes cleft almost half their length, sparsely hairy to glabrous except for yellow glands; stalks from shorter to much longer than the blades, sparsely hairy.
Inflorescence of numerous flowers in a 10-30 cm long, ascending to erect raceme; flower stalks 5-12 mm long, jointed, subtended by 1-3 small bracteoles, the lower ones often leaflike; petals white, 0.5-0.8 mm long, fan-shaped with an oblong basal claw; hypanthium widely flared and deeply saucer-shaped, 1.2-1.5 mm long; calyces brownish-purple or greenish, rarely nearly white, the lobes narrowly egg-shaped to oblong-lanceolate, 3-4 mm long; styles glabrous or hairy, about equaling the stamens and petals.
Berries, nearly round, blue-black with a whitish bloom, 0.8-1.2 cm long, glandular.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist woodlands, forests, streambanks, shorelines, thickets and avalanche tracks in the lowland to the subalpine zones; frequent on the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland, mostly west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to S AK and S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Ribes bracteosum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 296 2050
Slope Gradient (%) 0 13 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 25 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(3), CDF(28), CWH(429), ESSF(20), ICH(15), IDF(8), MH(21), MS(10), PP(2), SBS(19)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine, Western North American deciduous shrub distributed more in the Pacific than in the Cordilleran region. Occurs in hypermaritime to maritime cool mesothermal climates on very moist to wet, nitrogen-rich soils; its occurrence increases with increasing precipitation and decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Scattered in semiĀ­open forests on water-receiving (floodplain and stream-edge) sites. Usually associated with Alnus rubra, Oplopanax horridus, and Rubus spectabilis. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References