Mapleleaf Currant, Ribes acerifolium

Mapleleaf Currant                             The Currant Family—Grossulariaceae

Ribes acerifolium Howell

(rye-BEEZ  ay-ser-ih-FOAL-ee-um)

Names:  Ribes acerifolium is also known as R. howellii.  Both the common name and the specific epithet, acerifolium, refer to its maple shaped leaves.  It was named and described by Thomas Jefferson Howell, an Oregon botanist.

Distribution of Maple-leaf Currant from USDA Plants Database

Distribution of Maple-leaf Currant from USDA Plants Database

Distribution: This species is found from southwestern British Columbia to central Oregon; to Idaho in the east; mostly in the Cascade and the Olympic Mountains; but “also at the mouth of the Columbia River,” and on Vancouver Island.

Growth: Mapleleaf Currant is a small shrub to 3 feet (1m) tall.




Habitat: It grows in the mountains, along streams, in meadows and on open, rocky ridges.  Its small, maple-shaped leaves have five lobes and are finely hairy.  Seven to fifteen greenish-bronze to pinkish flowers are borne on drooping clusters.  Black, round berries have a whitish bloom and are slightly hairy.

In the Landscape: This species has good potential in the garden where a smaller shrub is desired.

Phenology: Bloom time: June-August; Fruit ripens: Autumn.

Propagation:  Methods are likely to be the same as for other currants.


USDA Plants Database

Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria

WTU Herbarium Image Collection, Plants of Washington, Burke Museum

E-Flora BC, Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Virginia Tech ID Fact Sheet