Ribes – Popular Shrubs for the Garden

Ribes sanguineum


Ribes, most gardeners know the Flowering Currant, Ribes sanguineum, one of the easiest of plants to grow in any soil and sunny situation, although it is not the most aristocratic of shrubs. The species itself has rosy-pink flowers in March and April but the pink is not a very good colour. There are several good red-flowered cultivars, however, such as ‘King Edward VII’ which is deep crimson, and ‘Pulborough Scarlet’, as well as an unusual one, brocklebankii, with golden leaves and pink flowers. All these reach from 6-10 feet in height and benefit from hard pruning after the flowers are over. The shoots that have flowered may then be cut out or cut back as required.

There are other ornamental currants worthy of a more prominent position. The Buffalo Currant or Golden Currant Ribes aureum (Ribes odoratum) has short trails of sweetly-scented yellow flowers in spring. It grows to about 6-8 feet tall and its leaves turn a good yellow in autumn. Ribes X gordonianum, a hybrid between the two species described above, has bronze-red and yellow flowers and red autumn leaves. The Fuchsia-flowered Gooseberry, Ribes speciosum, is an evergreen and belongs to the gooseberry side of the genus. It makes a good wall shrub, with drooping red fuchsia-like flowers.

Ribes aureum This shrub should be planted from October to March. Ribes speciosum will sometimes suffer from frost damage but the other species are quite hardy.

Ribes speciosum All the varieties of this shrub can be increased by taking cuttings of the firm young stems. These should be between 6-8 inches in length, and can be inserted in ordinary soil outdoors during October. Most cuttings treated in this way should root satisfactorily by the following spring.

See: more varieties of popular shrubs

14. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Herbaceous Plants, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Ribes – Popular Shrubs for the Garden


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