Ribes aureum Pursh var. gracillimum (Cov. & Britton) Jepson

Golden Currant
Grossulariaceae (Gooseberry Family)


Golden currant is an erect, almost glabrous shrub growing 6'-9' tall.  The alternate leaves are typically firm, 3-lobed with the lobes somewhat rounded, and palmately veined, wedge-shaped to subcordate at the base, and entire to ± toothed.  They can be as wide as 2" with the petiolate about as long as the leaf blade.  Golden currant is 5-15 flowered in racemes about 3" long which are subtended by glandular-ciliate bracts.  The slender yellow flowers are odorless, and have five spreading pointed sepals and five petals yellow and aging to red. The styles are fused from base to tip. The fruit is a round orange to yellowish glabrous berry about 1/4" in diameter.  This species blooms from February to April in brushy often alluvial places in southern oak woodland.  The gooseberry family includes both gooseberries and currants.  The easiest way to tell them apart is that gooseberries have prickles and currants do not. These pictures were taken in the San Gabriel Mts.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Ribes 2) aureum 3) gracillimum.
Pronunciation: RIE-bees AW-ree-um gras-IL-i-mum.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.