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White Flowering Currant
Ribes indecorum
About White Flowering Currant (Ribes indecorum) Nurseries Show All Photos Ribes indecorum is a species of currant known by the common names white-flowered currant and white chaparral currant. It is native to the southern California Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, and Peninsular Ranges, from around Santa Barbara County in California south into northern Baja California.

It is an erect shrub approaching three meters in maximum height. The stem is fuzzy and glandular in texture. The deciduous leaves are 1 to 4 centimeters long. The thick, wrinkly blades are divided into three to five toothed lobes, and are hairy, glandular, and aromatic. The inflorescence is a loose raceme of 10 to 25 flowers. The flower is roughly tubular with the white or pink-tinged sepals spreading open to reveal smaller whitish petals inside. Flowers bloom in late winter / early spring, and have an exceptionally pleasant fragrance, among the best of any California native.The fruit is a hairy, sticky very attractive berry that can be orange, purple, pink or red, and are under a centimeter wide.

White Flowering Currant is very drought tolerant once established, but still does does best in part shade, or in spots that retain slightly more moisture, such as creek sides, north or east facing slopes, or adjacent to boulders. Best to avoid direct summer water after this plant is established. It'll go nearly completely summer deciduous, and then spring back to life with the start of the rainy season.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
5 - 10 ft (1.5 - 3 m)

Max. Width
1 - 2 ft (0.3 - 0.6 m)

Upright Columnar

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate

Summer Deciduous, Summer Semi-Deciduous, Winter Deciduous

The thick, wrinkly blades are divided into three to five toothed lobes, and are hairy, glandular, and aromatic, forest green on top and white green underneath.

Flower Color
White, Pink

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry slopes, often near boulders or creeks, shady slopes or in gullies. Often grows under oak trees, and sometimes under sycamores.

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
9' - 7950'

Annual Precip. ?
4.5" - 41.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.94"

Coldest Month ?
37.0° F - 57.0° F

Hottest Month ?
59.1° F - 86.7° F

Humidity ?
0.64 vpd - 37.63 vpd

Soil Description
Rich, loamy soil

Soil PH
6 - 8

Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -15° F

Sunset Zones ?
7, 8, 9, 11, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Spiny Redberry, Mission Manzanita, Laurel Sumac, Coast Live Oak, Sugar Bush

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators, small mammals

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low, Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Organic with Rocks

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
White Chaparral Currant, White-flowered Currant, White-flowering Currant, Whiteflower Currant

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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