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 aureum Pursh

Fully hardy shrub with 3-lobed leaves and spicily aromatic, yellow flowers, often flushed red, followed by black berries.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Ribes aureum Pursh. and Ribes odoratum Wendl.f., which see, may well be geographic forms of the same species, Ribes odoratum occurring to the east of the Rockies and Ribes aureum to the west, originally found in the “Narrows of Columbia” [IPNI]. 

‘[Ribes aureum Pursh is a] native of north America, where it has been found in upper Louisiana on the banks of the Missouri, by Messrs. Bradbury and Nuttall; also on the other side of the Rocky Mountains on the banks of the Columbia by Captains Lewis and Clarke, in the celebrated journey across the American continent to the Pacific sea, performed by those officers at the order of the government of the United States.  In Mr. A. B. Lambert’s Herbarium there are specimens from each of these quarters, which seem to differ in no other respect, than that some of those from the Atlantic side of the Rocky Mountains are more conspicuously pubescent, and with larger bractes than those from the side next the Pacific.  With us this pretty shrub has as yet no other value than that which arises from a colour and fragrance of blossom unlooked for in this genus; but in its native place it is highly prized for the excellence of the fruit, which is said to be larger than any of our more common garden sorts.’  [BR f.125/1816].  Ribes aureum was introduced to Europe in 1812.  [JD].  See also Ribes odoratum Wendl.f.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.829/1843].


Published Mar 25, 2009 - 03:24 PM | Last updated Mar 27, 2010 - 04:20 PM

Illustrated are the 3-lobed leaves and yellow flowers.  Botanical Register f.125, 1816.

Ribes aureum Pursh | BR f.125/1816 | BHL

Family Grossulariaceae
Region of origin

Western USA to Mexico

  • Ribes flavum Lewis & Clarke
  • Chrysobotrya aurea (Pursh.) Rydb.
Common Name

Buffalo currant, Golden currant

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ribes aureum - Golden flowered currant 

Confidence level medium