Saturday, March 20, 2010

Red Flowering Currant

Now in bloom, the red flowering currant is one of the most beloved and showy of native northwest shrubs. The brilliant display of carmine red flowers in spring are welcomed by gardeners and hummingbirds alike.

A few facts:

Red-flowering currant is native to western coastal North America from central British Columbia to central California. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 4 m tall. The bark is dark brownish-grey with prominent paler brown lenticels. The leaves are 2-7 cm long and broad, with five palmate lobes; when young in spring, they have a strong resinous scent. The early spring flowers emerge at the same time as the leaves, on racemes 3-7 cm long with 5-30 flowers. Each flower is 5-10 mm diameter, with five red or pink petals. The fruit is dark purple oval berry 1 cm long, edible but bland.

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