Ribes nevadense

Sierra currant


The Basics

Taxonomy: Kingdom - Plantae (plants). Subkingdom - Tracheobionta (vascular plants). Superdivision - Spermatophyta (seed plants). Division - Magnoliophyta (flowering plants). Class - Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons). Subclass - Rosidae. Order - Rosales. Family - Grossulariaceae (currant). Genus - Ribes L. Species - Ribes nevadense Kellogg


Habit: Plant < 2 m. Stem: nodal spines 0. Leaf: blade 3--8 cm, coarsely to finely toothed, adaxially generally glabrous, abaxially with sessile glands, hairy or not. Inflorescence: erect to pendent, 8--20-flowered, dense; bract pink. Flower: hypanthium 2 mm, +- as long as wide; sepals erect, 4--5 mm, pink to red; petals 2--3 mm, white. Fruit: 6--8 mm, blue-black-glaucous; hairs glandular.


Pests and pathogens: White pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) is a fungus that attacks both wild and cultivated species of gooseberry and currant. The wild species stink currant (R. bracteosum), flowering currant (R. sanguineum), Sierra gooseberry (R. roezlii), and Sierra currant (R. nevadense) are very susceptible. The white or five-needled pine is an alternate host for the fungus. Rust of white pine has caused severe losses. Susceptible currants and gooseberries cannot be planted safely nearer than 1000 ft and preferably 0.5 mile from white pine. Ribes and white pines are adapted to disturbance and frequently co-occur in fo rest and woodland ecosystems.


Flowering and fruiting: Flowers are bisexual and borne in few- to many-flowered racemes from April to June. Flowers are often wind-pollinated. A mature seed is filled with a large endosperm containing a minute, rounded embryo. Seeds are dispersed almost entirely by birds and mammals during the summer and fall. The earliest seedcrops produced by Sierra gooseberry are borne when the plants are 3 to 5 years old.

Species Distribution


Photo credit: Sara Germain 2015

USDA Plants Database
USDA, NRCS. 2016. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

Woody Plant Seed Manual
Pfister, R.D., & Sloan, J.P. Woody Plant Seed Manual: Ribes. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

The Jepson Herbarium
The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California. B.G. Baldwin, D.H. Goldman, D.J. Keil, R. Patterson, T.J. Rosatti, and D.H. Wilken [editors]. 2012. 2nd edition, thoroughly revised and expanded. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

PNW Plant Diseases
PNW Plant Disease Management Handbook. 2016 [Online]. Pacific Northwest Extension. Oregon State University.