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

Ribes triste Pall.
red swamp currant (red currant)
Grossulariaceae (Currant family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #948)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Ribes triste
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Species Information

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Deciduous shrub, loosely branched, 0.5-1.5 m tall; stems ascending to decumbent, glabrous to crisp-hairy, unarmed; bark straw-colored to purplish-brown.
Alternate, broadly egg-shaped, heart-shaped at the base, 2-10 cm wide, 3 (5)-lobed much less than half their length, the lobes triangular, toothed, glabrous above, more or less hairy below (at least on the veins); stalks equal to or slightly longer than the blades, finely hairy.
Inflorescence of 6-13 flowers in a drooping raceme shorter than the leaves; flower stalks 1-4 mm long, jointed below the flowers, glabrous to sparsely hairy and more or less glandular; petals reddish-purple, broadly fan-shaped, 0.8-1 mm long; hypanthium saucer-shaped, 0.7-1 mm long; calyces reddish or purplish, finely hairy; styles glabrous, about equaling the stamens.
Berries, egg-shaped, red, 0.6-1 cm long, glabrous.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Moist woodlands, forests, streambanks and rocky slopes in the montane and subalpine zones; frequent in N BC; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NJ, VA, MN SD, and OR; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Ribes triste

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) 38 874 1975
Slope Gradient (%) 0 10 205
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 31 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 4 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(400), CWH(2), ESSF(71), ICH(11), IDF(1), MS(6), SBPS(14), SBS(309), SWB(34)


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 montane boreal & cool temperate.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Ribes rubrum var. alaskanum (A. Berger) B. Boivin
Ribes rubrum var. propinquum (Turcz.) Trautv. & C.A. Mey.
Ribes triste var. albinervium (Michx.) Fernald

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References