Ribes cereum

wax currant

Habit: thornless shrub with thick branches and grows in a spreading or an upright rounded shape. Young branches are hairy and very glandular turning gray and woody with age. The small fan shaped, waxy leaves have shallow lobes, appearing almost round, and blunt toothed margins. Leaves have numerous, short, stiff hairs with visible resin glands, particularly around the edges. Arranged in dense, drooping clusters, the pink or white flowers are elongated, tubular and covered in sticky hairs. The fruit is an unpalatable bright red berry. Blooms between April and June. Leaves turn yellow in autumn before dropping.


Ecology: found in the Western United States in rocky foothills, canyons and woodland thickets from 300-13,000 ft (100-4000 m).


Growing Conditions: full sun in dry to moist well-drained soil, shade intolerant.

Wax currant provides food and cover for wildlife.



Deciduous Shrub
3-5 ft (1-1.5 m)
3-5 ft (1-1.5 m)
USDA Zones:

Native Habitat

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