Nestled in the shrubby beds at the eastern end of the South Walk this flowering currant is definitely worth seeking out.
Ribes sanguineum is one of the more familiar and attractive of the 150 species of flowering currants. It is a North American species, which was introduced to our gardens in 1826 by the famed plant collector David Douglas, though was first discovered by Archibald Menzies in 1793. It is amongst the first of the species to flower, which no doubt adds to its appeal, and produces deep pink-red racemes of tubular flowers with spreading petals, and these are followed by blue-black fruits. This is a deciduous shrub growing to 2m in height and width, and having spineless stems and lobed, toothed leaves which emit a fruity scent, especially when young. The selection ‘Album’ is an even more desirable form, gracing the garden with pendent racemes to provide early spring colour.