Golden Currant

Ribes aureum: Golden Currant Fruit Tree Facts and Uses


Ribes aureum is commonly called Golden Currant, Missouri Currant or Clove Currant. The genus Ribes have over 140 species found in South America’s low, woody shrub demography. They were introduced as garden plants in the 19th century in Western and Central Europe.

The small to medium shrub can grow 4 to 5ft tall and usually blossom in spring. They feature spinney stems and lack bristles on stem. Deciduous from late December, early February the shrub has green leaves.

The leaves are maple-like three lobed sweet scented and becomes violet or orange with age. The golden yellow flowers have a pronounced fragrance and attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The fruit are edible amber yellow to black half inch berries.

The shrub requires areas with ground water like canyons, creek bottoms, irrigated area and bottom of slops. It can grow in areas of full sun however it prefers partial sun and grows under large trees.

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It is cultivated as a native plant, found in wildlife garden or natural landscaping. Ideal as an ornamental plant, are edible, used in medicine and culinary applications

  • found in wildlife garden
  • Natural landscaping
  • A good ornamental plant
  • are edible
  • used in medicine
  • Culinary applications


The shrub is susceptible to white pine blister rust, fungi infection.

Ribes Aureum Varities

There are basically to main varieties of golden currant fruit. The flowers unusual composition includes elongated tube formed from fusion of petals and sepals. The lobes spread at right angle.

The edible fruits are amber yellow, eaten raw, cooked with sugar. Some people also eat the flowers. We have the Ribes aureum var graciliumum found in foothills, coastal regions. The other is the Ribes aureum var aureum it can tolerate low temperatures and found high in mountain topography.


  • Ribes aureum var- villosun
  • Ribes aureum – gracillium
  • Ribes aureum – aureum

Plant Description

Golden current is a shrub with maximum height of 10ft, width 10ft. it has a light pleasant fragrance and growth rate is moderate to fast. The native shrub has yellow-cream flowers with flowering season spring or winter.

Site, Soil Temperature

The shrub growing in different locations and soil types. It is found in woodland areas, pine forests, among sagebrush scrub. Other locations are slopes adjacent to wetland, slope bottoms and creek sides.

They are found in thickets, fencerows, roadsides, streamside’s. Ideal temperature 46 F to 55F with humidity of 0.58vpd to 28vpd. Highly tolerant to different soil composition it requires minimum drainage with soil 6-8PH.

Companion plants are ninebark, spice bush, oaks, snowdrop bush and hackberry.

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The seeds, fruit and flowers attract a variety of wildlife that pollinate the plant. The primary pollinators are butterflies, bees and a large number of birds. Monarch flies, hummingbirds.

  • Butterflies
  • Bees
  • Monarch Flies
  • Hummingbirds


Make sure the site is easily accessible to harvesters. The water requirement is low, moderate to high. No summer watering is required however water first and second month.

Make sure you clear debris and weeds around the plant. Mulch with organic material, rocks or deep organic. The mulch is spread 2 inches over the cleared area.

Then water the plant in the morning to keep the soil moist but avoid sogginess. Use your shears to trim broken crane or dead branches.

Planting from Seed

Planting is done through seeds, layer or division (suckers) or cutting. To propagate use moist seeds 0.2% KNO3 and stratify 2 weeks.

Another way is to soak the seeds in 0.3% for 40 minutes. Then rinse the seed and plant in pot or garden.  An easier way is to purchase the young plants from nurseries in your locality.

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