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Chaparral Currant
Ribes malvaceum
About Chaparral Currant (Ribes malvaceum) Nurseries Show All Photos Ribes malvaceum, called "chaparral currant", is a member of the Grossulariaceae (gooseberry family). It is endemic to California. It occurs below 1500 meter in chaparral, foothill oak woodland, and closed-cone pine forest ranging from Baja California to the San Francisco Bay area and inner Northern Coastal Ranges. Less than 2 meters tall, this perennial shrub lacks the characteristic nodal spines which are demonstrated on the stems of many other members in the genus Ribes. The leaf blades (20-50 millimeter) are densely hairy and double toothed. Bright pink flowers produce edible purple berries.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
5 - 8 ft (1.5 - 2.4 m)

Max. Width
5 ft (1.5 m)


Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate

Summer Deciduous, Winter Deciduous


Flower Color
Pink, Purple

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Oak woodlands, closed cone pine forests, chaparral

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
-247' - 10031'

Annual Precip. ?
8.6" - 62.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.66"

Coldest Month ?
30.5° F - 57.4° F

Hottest Month ?
50.4° F - 83.3° F

Humidity ?
0.04 vpd - 34.12 vpd

Soil Description
Medium and coarse, dry

Soil PH
5.8 - 8.2


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 34 - 96° F

Wildlife Attracted
Native bees, butterflies, hummingbirds

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Very Easy

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

Moderately Popular

Prune during dry season or after fruiting. Avoid cutting into old wood.

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

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

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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