Ribes lobbii

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USDA Hardiness zone: Zn5b -10º to -15ºF

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Ribes lobbii

Gummy gooseberry is widespread west of the Cascades but is never common. Also known as Fuchsia Flowering Gooseberry this delightful native shrub decorates itself in mid spring with pendant red and white flowers. The upper petals are red and the downward pointing petals are white. Large growing deciduous shrub with with three thorns at each node. The gummy part of the name refers to the leaves which are not shiny or sticky but matte and a little rubbery. This differentiates Ribes lobbii from the closely related Sierra Currant Ribes roezlii (with conspicuously sticky  foliage). Large plant that grows very quickly when young. It will slow down when it hits its max height. Native to disturbed sites and it quickly follows fire it prefers soils that are rich and with light summer water to establish then only what falls from the sky. Loved by hummingbirds and birds in general. The prickly currants supply birds and other critters during autumn. Fall color is showy russet/orange/red. This is one of the showiest native currants. Much less common than Flowering Currant Ribes sanguineum it should be grown more. The long cantilevered stems display the pendant flowers in a wonderful way. Not native east of the Cascade crest. 9’x 5′ in 10 years. Moderately deer resistant. Drought adapted when established. Blooms on wood from the previous season, prune if needed AFTER blooming has ended. This delightful shrub was once more widespread, logging and settlement have shrunken its natural range. Very pretty spring flowering shrub. Native in the Portland city limits.  Oregon native plant.

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