categoryZShrubs Shrubs List 
categoryZBroadleaf Broadleaf List 
categoryZDeciduous Deciduous List 

MOUNTAIN CURRANT

Ribes alpinum

Gooseberries/Currants Family [Grossulariaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZgreen berryZyellow berryZorange berryZred  (6-10mm, glacÚ look, juicy, sometimes edible)
berry8apr berry8april berry8may

category
category8Shrubs
category
category8Broadleaf
category
category8Deciduous
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8cream
 
inner
inner8green
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ5
 
type
typeZspiked
short
stem
stem8round
 
contact
contactZmedium
 
rarity
rarityZscarce
 
sex
sexZdioecious
 

20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
An often dense shrub growing to 2m high, flowering April to May and fruiting with red berries in July.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
It is dioecious with separate male and female plants; this plant your Author thinks is male.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are a little like those of Hawthorn, mostly with 3 lobes which are coarsely and roundly toothed.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are pale yellow and in short usually-upright racemes. It is much-branched and sturdily thick-set, with branches aiming upwards.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Stems are woody and round. Many racemes of flowers grow on a stem, mostly within 30cm of the top of that stem.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are in many, short and erect racemes held close to the main stem emerging from a leaf axil. There are only a few pedicels each raceme, bearing a pale-yellow flower.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The terminal flower is the last to open - at the summit several here are still flower buds awaiting their turn to open.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Flower buds at summit yet to open.


5th May 2018, garden backs, bridge 67, Buglawton, Macclesfield Canal. Photo: © RWD
A differing specimen; this also looks like a male plant.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are dinner-plate shaped, very shallow in depth. Flower stalks and raceme have short glandular-tipped hairs.


5th May 2018, garden backs, bridge 67, Buglawton, Macclesfield Canal. Photo: © RWD
This specimen from Buglawton has (or did have) at least 18 flowers and is a male plant just like the plant from Waterloo. Female plants would have fewer flowers.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The sepals are pale-green as are the longer 5 petals - both conform to the dinner-plate side-view. The filaments with stamens (if male) or the (2?) styles with discoidal stigma (if female) are both very short (see left-most flower), but just protrude beyond the height of the dinner plate. [The flowers are supposed to be either male or female - but your Author here cannot tell if they are male or female because both are present - but there are some pollen grains to be seen on the right-most flower so the shrub must be male]. Female racemes have fewer flowers than male racemes. Your Author thinks this a male plant since the stamens have pollen grains.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The flower here has not yet opened out like a dinner plate and are shaped more like a vase: the petals are much more upright and the anthers necessarily pointing inwards towards the central discoidal style. For the flowers to be either male or female (for a dioecious plant) one or other of these sexual organs is infertile.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are mainly tri-lobed with serrate or rounded teeth. Most specimens of this plant seem to have less shiny leaves on their top surface.


20th April 2019, a walled garden, Waterloo, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The leaves have a few short, scattered hairs on their upper surface.


5th May 2018, garden backs, bridge 67, Buglawton, Macclesfield Canal. Photo: © RWD
Most specimens have leaves which are less shiny on their upper surface, such as this plant from the Macclesfield Canal.


Not to be semantically confused with : : Mountain Everlasting (antennaria dioica), Mountain-Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), Dwarf Mountain-pine (Pinus mugo), Mountain Willow (), Mountain Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum), Mountain Willow (Salix arbuscula) and Mountain Bearberry (Arctostaphylos alpinus) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families]

When not in flower easily mis-identified as : Hawthorn since the leaves are similar.

The flowers are not scented. The berries are 6 to 10mm across and a glacÚ red colour which is sometimes edible. The shrub is not native, but rather a neophyte which (as various cultivars) is often sold as a garden plant - indeed - it is not known if this specimen is a cultivar - it is in a park after all.

Mountain Currant grows in woods, or on cliffs, walls or rocks on limestone occurring mostly in the north of England, but is common only in the Peak District. It also is to be found in three abbeys in Yorkshire: Fountains, Roche and Rievaulx Abbeys.


  Ribes alpinum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Grossulariaceae  

Distribution
 family8Gooseberries/Currants family8Grossulariaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Ribes
Ribes
(Gooseberries)

MOUNTAIN CURRANT

Ribes alpinum

Gooseberries/Currants Family [Grossulariaceae]