Ribes cereum (Wax currant)

Deciduous non-rhizomatous shrub up to 6 ft. tall with globe-like berries and short tubular white to pink flowers, blooming April to September. Adapted to a variety of soils from sands to clays on dry, open slopes, ridges and rock outcrops in open, coniferous forests, woodland edges, shrub-steppe, sagebrush desert and mountain shrub to subalpine habitats; up to 12,500 ft. elevation. Frequently occupies drier sites than Golden currant (R. aureum). May be found within pine, Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum), Skunkbush sumac (Rhus aromatica), snowberry (Symphoricarpos spp.), Wood’s rose (Rosa woodsii) and Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) communities. Provides cover as well as food for wild ungulates when little else is available. Berries are excellent food for birds and small mammals. Nectar is important to hummingbirds. Caterpillar host of the Rocky Mountain agapema moth.

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Family: Grossulariaceae

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Shrub

Native Status: Native

Growth Form: Multiple stem

Mature Height: 2-6 ft.

Bloom Color: White

Fruit/Seed Color: Red-Orange

Bloom Period: Late spring

Annual Precipitation: 8-81 in.

Drought Tolerance: 

Shade Tolerance: Intolerant

Elevation: 4,950-13,200 ft.

Wetland Indicator Status:

Fire Resistance:

Fire Tolerance:

Nitrogen Fixation:


Coarse Texture: Yes

Medium Texture: Yes

Fine Texture: Yes

Salinity Tolerance: None

CaCO3 Tolerance: None

pH Range: 5.1-7.2


Seeds per Pound: 350,000

Seeding Rate:  PLS lbs/acre

Season: Fall

Days to Germination: