Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Ribes speciosum Pursh

Fully hardy, upright, spiny, deciduous shrub with bristly shoots, red when young, ovate, 3- to 5-lobed leaves, to 4cm long, and small pendant racemes of slender, bell-shaped, dark red flowers in spring, followed by spherical, bristly red fruit.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This fine Ribes, so remarkable for its leaves resembling those of the White-Thorn, and its flowers those of a Fuchsia, was first discovered by the venerable Menzies in California, during the voyage of Capt. Vancouver, and his beautiful drawing and description made on the spot, are now before me.  It was introduced to our gardens by Mr. Collie, the surgeon of H. M. S. Blossom, in 1829.  Our drawing was made by Mr. William Curtis, at the extensive Nursery Grounds of Glazenwood.  In native specimens, the leaves are smaller, and the racemes only two-flowered.  In England the plant seems to be perfectly hardy: in Scotland it requires the protection of a wall, or the flowers will effectually, in most years, be destroyed, by our fickle springs.  Its flowering season is April and May; its growth is rapid and vigorous during summer, and the plant is now becoming common.’  [BM t.3530/1836].  OFG f.39/1854.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.831/1843].


Published Mar 27, 2010 - 04:32 PM | Last updated Mar 27, 2010 - 04:40 PM

Figured is a spiny stem, lobed leaves and pendant, fuchsia-like red flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3530, 1836.

Ribes speciosum Pursh | BM t.3530/1836 | BHL

Family Grossulariaceae
Region of origin

Western USA

Common Name

Fuchsia-flowered currant, Fuchsia-flowered gooseberry

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ribes speciosum - Scarlet flowered gooseberry 

Confidence level high