Catalina Perfume or Evergreen currant is a two to three foot evergreen perennial shrub that can grow to eight feet wide, but can be held easily in a two foot flower bed. The heavily scented dark green foliage is has a waxy shine to it after a rain, filling the air with a sweet scent of wine grapes. Plant smells like a fine wine , no better than a fine wine when the foliage is brushed or gets wet.
The stems are red and the leaf venation is also reddish so the plant has a red brick with green trim look about it. Native to Santa Catalina Island and Baja California where it grows in shade to part shade. Evergreen currant will survive dry to moderate water as long as it has good drainage. Extremely drought tolerant in clay. A good ground cover for dry shade. Not a plant for areas of sun, it will burn back to the line of light shade. Ribes viburnifolium has survived here to @15 deg. with no burn. At 10 it burns badly, at 8 it will burn to the ground, at about 0 it will die. The plant can tolerate these temperatures better if you mulch heavily or if you have snow when you have your cold. Our plants have survived here for 13 years looking good when we have rain and mild winters(our temperatures stay above 15f.), burning to the ground when the temperatures get bad. It will set berries only in the coastal gardens, the birds like these. The year we had a rainfall of 4" during our bad drought we had to water this groundcover once each year. Deer usually will not eat this. We've put in some bad spots and got away with it but Bambi got us on one or two other spots. These were spots where he was eating oleanders and buckeyes. Click here for more about California Currants and Gooseberries
Ribes viburnifolium tolerates clay.
Ribes viburnifolium is great for a bird garden.
Foliage of Ribes viburnifolium has color reddish-green, is evergreen and has fragrance.
Flower of Ribes viburnifolium has color red.
Fruit of Ribes viburnifolium is edible.
Communities for Ribes viburnifolium:Chaparral and Coastal Sage Scrub.