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Three Flowering Currants

In each of our four gardens that we have developed we have grown the commonest of flowering currants, Ribes sanguinium (above) but here in our garden at Plealey we are also growing two other less common ones.

The photo below shows our specimen of the “Fuchsia-flowered Currant”, Ribes speciosum, which we grow in a sheltered spot against the greenhouse as it is supposed to be tender around here. The spiny arching stems grow up tall reaching the top the the greenhouse and peering over. Its new young branches start off a deep rusty red colour and are absolutely covered with bristly spines. Its flowers are like long fuschias in a rich deep red with long red stamens protuding. These flowers seem to be around in varying numbers just about all year. It is a true beauty!

When we bought ours from a tiny nursery hidden away in Herefordshire we didn’t know what it was when we saw it growing on the side of an outbuilding. The nurseryman told us that most people asked if he sold any cuttings of his climbing fuschia. One look at the flowers below and you can immediately see why.

Our third currant is a yellow-flowered shrub called Ribes odorata, or the Buffalo Currant. Its lovely yellow racemes of flowers are gently scented, a much more pleasant scent than that of the more common Red Currant which smells of black currant leaves, although it has to be said that Jude the Undergardener claims it smells like cat pee! The brightness of the yellow flowers is emphasised by the fresh green of the foliage. In the autumn the leaves take on hints of red and purple.

One of the main resaons for growing flowering currants, in addition to their hanging racemes of flowers is their attraction to insects especially bees and hoverflies, early in the year.

By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

8 replies on “Three Flowering Currants”

These flowering decorative currants don’t have berries in our garden, but we grow productive red and black currants on our allotment. Great for jams!


Wow – great pictures and details about a variety I am not familiar with at all. I was only aware of currants as fruit. The blossoms are absolutely gorgeous.

I bought a yellow flowering currant last year – unfortunately it didn’t survive the winter. They used to be common in gardens but in our local garden centre they are really expensive. There is one growing in front of our village hall so I make take a cutting from it when I am passing. They make a lovely splash of colour in the garden at this time of year don’t they.

Amazing photos! I have never seen the pink and red kind before but the yellow ones are a native in Northern New Mexico. They are known as golden currants. My daughter and I both love these and eat them throughout the season. They are very good in salads and fruit bowls.

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