Ribes × gordonianum

Common Name: currant 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Grossulariaceae
Native Range: Garden origin
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Red with yellow throat
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Rabbit, Clay Soil


Best grown in organically rich, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained clay or silt loams in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun, but some part afternoon shade is appreciated in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Consider applying a compost mulch to the root zone. Plants are best sited in locations protected from strong winds and frost pockets. Water regularly as needed to keep soils uniformly moist. Avoid overhead watering however. Prune as needed in spring after flowering. Plants may spread by root suckers to form clumps if suckers are not removed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ribes × gordonianum is a non-fruiting, thornless, deciduous currant that typically grows to 3-5’ tall with a slightly larger spread. It is ornamentally grown for its attractive flowers and foliage. It is a cross between Ribes odoratum and Ribes sanguineum. Clusters (pendant racemes) of fragrant, trumpet-shaped, raspberry-red flowers with yellow throats bloom in spring. Toothed, 3-5 lobed, round to ovate, dark green leaves (to 2” long) are aromatic. Foliage may acquire attractive shades of reddish-brown in fall. This hybrid does not produce fruit.

The genus name Ribes is derived from the Arabic ribas, the name used for Rheum ribes (Syrian rhubarb), an unrelated, wild rhubarb species. European herbalists possibly connected the two due to the acidic flavor of the flowering stem of R. ribes, or the visually similar panicles of red fruits.


In wet, humid conditions, anthracnose, powdery mildew and fungal leaf spots can be troublesome. Although white pine blister rust is not a problem in Missouri, this shrub is considered to be an alternate host for this disease and should not be planted in certain parts of the United States where the disease is prevalent (particularly in parts of the eastern United States). Contact your local Extension Service to verify if these plants can be grown in your area. Aphids, scale and bud mite are potential pests in some areas.


Ornamental flowering shrub. Specimen or group near patios, in shrub borders or in open woodland areas.