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

Ribes sanguineum Pursh
winter currant (red currant; redflower currant; red-flowering currant)
Grossulariaceae (Currant family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2729)

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Distribution of Ribes sanguineum
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Ribes sanguineum var. sanguineum

Species Information

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Deciduous shrub, loosely branched, 1-3 m tall; stems erect, finely hairy, unarmed; bark brownish to reddish-brown.
Alternate, broadly kidney-shaped or rounded, shallowly heart-shaped at the base, 2-7 cm wide, equally to irregularly 5-lobed nearly half their length, the lobes rounded, shallowly 2-3 toothed, glabrous above, finely hairy below; stalks equal to or slightly shorter than the blades, finely hairy and sometimes glandular.
Inflorescence of 5-30 flowers in a spreading raceme equal to or longer than the leaves; flower stalks 1-5 mm long, jointed below the flowers, glandular; petals light to dark rose, rarely white, egg-shaped, 2.5-3.5 mm long; hypanthium nearly tubular to slightly bell-shaped, 3-5 mm long; calyces pale to deep rose, finely hairy and stalked-glandular; styles fused and glabrous, about equaling the stamens.
Berries, round, blue-black, glaucous, 6-9 mm long, usually stalked-glandular.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Purple
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry forests and rock outcrops in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in SW and SE BC north to 52degreeN; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Ribes sanguineum

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) 15 343 855
Slope Gradient (%) 0 21 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
22 228 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 6
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: CDF(11), CWH(72), IDF(4)

Ecological Indicator Information

Shade-intolerant, submontane to subalpine, Western North American deciduous shrub distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Species occurs in maritime to submaritime cool mesothermal climates on very dry to moderately dry, nitrogen-medium soils; their occurrence decreases with increasing elevation, precipitation, and continentality. Sporadic to scattered in early-seral communities and open-canopy Douglas-fir forests on water-shedding sites. Characteristic of moisture­deficient sites.

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

Additional Photo Sources

General References