UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Water Wise Plants

Ribes sanguineum

RY-beez san-GWIN-ee-um
Common Name
Pink Flowering Currant
Plant Type
Mature Size
5 ft. to 12 ft. tall and wide
Water Requirements
Low: water every three weeks until the root ball is wet
Sun/Shade Requirements
Half sun to shade
  • Hummingbirds
  • Other birds
Flower Color
Pink, red, yellow, white
Maintenance- Design- Planting Tips

Ribes sanguineum is a useful landscape plant because it is one of the few shrubs that shine in dry shade. Pink Flowering Currant is one of the first plants to awaken in the spring with a beautiful display of pendulous pink flowers and green maple-like lobed leaves. Ribes, a deciduous shrub, loses all its leaves in the late fall.

This plant can be used as a focal plant in the garden surrounded by smaller perennials or as an understory plant when combined with large trees with low water usage, like California Oaks. It can get by with very little water but looks fuller when a moderate amount of water is applied in the summer. When using Ribes under a California Oak, avoid summer water.

There are many different cultivars of Ribes available with flowers ranging from red to pink to yellow to white. Some types of Ribes work well in full sun.

Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers, especially since they bloom when not much else is flowering. In the fall the shrub has blue-black berries that attract fruit-eating birds including mockingbirds and cedar waxwings. Ribes sanguineum is found along the Pacific coast from California to British Columbia, Canada.

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