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Common Shrub Species of the Northwest Forest

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Ribes triste
Wild Red Currant
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

Wild Red Currant Description

General - reclining to ascending shrub, up to 1 m tall; branches do not have prickles, often root at lower nodes.

Leaves - alternate; maple-leaf shaped, 3-lobed (rarely 5-lobed), shallowly heart-shaped or (rarely) squared at base; lobes broadly triangular, toothed, may be hairy below but lack resin dots.

Flowers - 6-15 in drooping clusters; reddish or greenish purple; petals about 1 mm long; ovary smooth; flower stalks jointed, usually bear gland-tipped hairs; appearing in late May and early June.

Fruit - bright red to purplish, smooth berries, about 6 mm across; sour but enjoyed by some, flavour similar to garden red currant.

Habitat

Moist woods and swamps; widespread across NW Ontario's boreal region, north to Arctic coast.

Notes

Wild currant berries are edible fresh and can be preserved in jams and jellies.

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