Ribes – Popular Shrubs for the Garden
Ribes, most gardeners know the Flowering Currant,, one of the easiest of plants to grow in any and sunny situation, although it is not the most aristocratic of shrubs. The species itself has rosy-pink 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 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-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 -like flowers.
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