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Plant Profile: Ribes sanguineum

Ribes sanguineum "King Edward VII" Close up

Ribes sanguineum “King Edward VII” Close up

 

Ribes Sanguineum ‘King Edward VII’ (Flowering Currant) is one of my all around favorite plants to use in shady areas. It has an airy quality that allows you to see past it to the surrounding vegetation, which is something I’m always looking for when creating a sense of mystery in a garden. The flowers are in full bloom now (early March) in Seattle, and will continue blooming till April. The leaves on Ribes are delicate and light green, and give off a spicy scent. Hummingbirds and bees love these easy to access flowers. Best of all, it is native to the Pacific Northwest!

Ribes Sanguineum Varieties:

  • Ribes sang. ‘King Edward VII’- Darkest pink flowers
  • Ribes sang.’Pokey’s Pink’- White to light pink flowers
  • Ribes sang.’Claremont’- Light to dark pink flowers
  • Ribes sang.’White Icicle’- White flowers

Details:

  • Deciduous shrub
  • 3′-6′ tall and wide
  • Partial sun to shade
  • Regular water
  • Slow growing
  • Vase-like form

Companion Plants:

  • Tall Natives such as Holodiscus discolor, Oemlaria cerasifolia, Vaccinium Ovatum, Acer circinatum.
  • Lower Natives such as: Polystichum munitum, Mahonia nervosa, Gaultheria shallon
  • Acanthus mollis (Bear’s breech)
  • Corylus avellana contorta (Corkscrew Hazel)
  • Corylopsis pauciflora (Buttercup Winterhazel)
  • Astible varieties (False Spiraea)
  • Helleborus varieties (Lenten Rose)
Ribes sanguineum 'King Edward VII' Red Flowering Currant

Ribes sanguineum ‘King Edward VII’ Red Flowering Currant

 

Ribes needs little pruning, unless its over 7-10 years old and is getting very dense. You may want to retain its airy quality by removing some of the branches from the base. Blueish berries with a white dusting will attract birds in the summer, and while technically edible to humans, they are very mealy and not very appealing. Since it is a Currant, you will find its cousins Ribes nigrum and rubrum (Black and Red Currants) available to grow as delicious berry producing plants.

 

 

 

 

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