wax currant Grossulariaceae Ribes
cereum Douglas symbol: RICE
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, palmately lobed (3 to 5 lobes), some leaves have indistinct lobes, 1/2 to 2 inches long, irregularly round toothed; dark green above, fuzzy when young, paler and glandular hairy below; often the leaves are sticky.
Flower: Species is monoecious; small, white to faint pink tubular flowers borne in late spring, singular or in short hanging clusters of a few flowers.
Fruit: Orange-red, bright red to dark red, round, 1/4 to 1/2 inch berries in a hanging cluster, resin dotted, ripen in late summer.
Twig: Moderately stout, stiff, red-gray and maybe short fuzzy to glandular when young, later turning light gray, no spines; reddish brown, pointed buds.
Bark: Reddish-gray and finely peeling on larger stems.
Form: Upright small shrub reaching to 5 feet, with an open crown.
Looks like: stink currant - mapleleaf currant - red-flowering currant - sticky currant
Additional Range Information: Ribes cereum is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting wax currant.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson