Golden Currant, Ribes aureum gracillimum is very similar to Ribes aureum aureum but has yellow flowers that turn red. They are both forms of Golden currant. BUT,
Ribes aureum aureum grows in places like Bodie, loves alkalinity and
forms more of a shrub instead of a ground cover. Ribes aureum
gracillimum gets beat up when the temperatures drops below 0F, but
tolerates a wide range of conditions. So the Ribes aureum aureum is for the higher mountains, San Joaquin Valley and deep interior, Ribes aureum gracillimum is the one for the rest of us if you want to every see any flowers or currants.
Golden currant is native from Riverside county to the south bay area.
In the canyons of Malibu they cover the canyon bottoms, but they also
manage to make a stand in the Santa Margarita area where Golden currant
grows in decomposed granite in full sun just above our seasonal 'creeks'
and is deciduous from late Dec. to early Feb.. Golden currant is
almost evergreen along the coast and is a good ground cover under oaks.
It flowers within a mile of the ocean in Malibu, but I've never seen
currants on coastal bluffs. If you're right on the ocean bluff, you'll
need a protected east wall, fence or gully to keep the foliage out of
California thrashers, with their curved beaks, Robins, Phainopeplas, and Solitaires, love the berries. Bumblebees and hummingbirds love the flowers. Also, monarchs
love the flowers in early spring. The fruit varies from to 3/8 inch,
yellow to pale red, about 1/3 seed and tastes like a store bought
Thompson seedless with a dash of vanilla, some cream of tartar, and
maybe a little apple juice.
Click here for more about California Currants and Gooseberries
Ribes aureum var. gracillimum tolerates sand and seasonal flooding.
Ribes aureum var. gracillimum is great for a bird garden and a butterfly garden.
Foliage of Ribes aureum var. gracillimum has color lt-green, is deciduous and is edible.
Flower of Ribes aureum var. gracillimum has color yellow and has a fragrance.
Fruit of Ribes aureum var. gracillimum is edible.
Communities for Ribes aureum var. gracillimum:Chaparral and Southern Oak Woodland.