WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Similar to Golden Current but with pinkish-white flowers, this 2–4-foot tall shrub has thornless stems and rounded leaves with shallow lobes. Note the short-stalked glandular hairs on the trumpet-shaped flowers and scattered on the reddish-orange berries.


FLOWERS: May–July. Clusters of 2–3 pinkish-white, tubular flowers, 1/4–3/8-inch long (6–10 mm) with short-stalked glandular hairs; 5 spreading petal-like sepals and 5 smaller interior petals. Fruit a round, red-orange berry to 3/8-inch diameter (10 mm) with scattered short-stalked glandular hairs; edible, rather tasteless.


LEAVES: Alternate or crowded whorl-like on short branchlets. Blades 3/8–1 1/2-inches long and wide (9–38 mm), rounded with 3–5 shallow lobes, thick, waxy, fragrant; surfaces with numerous to few short-stalked glandular hairs.


HABITAT: Sandy, gravelly, moist to dry soils, canyons, stream banks, riparian woodlands; high plains shrub lands, pinyon-juniper, ponderosa-Douglas fir forests.


ELEVATION: 4,200–11,000 feet.


RANGE: AZ, CO, NM, UT; widespread throughout Rocky Mt. states and westward.


SIMILAR SPECIES: 12 species of Ribes in NM, 8 may have no stem spines or bristles, 5 of those with tubular, not cup-shaped flowers. Reliable ID relies on flowers and fruit. Golden Current, R. aureum, in much the same range, has yellow, tubular flowers. Mescalero Current, R. mescalerium, in southern NM mountains, has black fruit and thin leaves with long-stalked glandular hairs.


NM COUNTIES: Widespread in NM in low- to high-elevation, moist to dry habitats, absent in eastern central and southern counties: Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, Colfax, Dona Ana, Grant, Harding, Lincoln, Los Alamos, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union, Valencia.

WAX  CURRENT

RIBES  CEREUM  (RIBES  INEBRIANS)

Gooseberry or Current Family, Grossulariaceae

Perennial, deciduous shrub

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Leaves thick, fan-shaped with 3–5 lobes (right arrow).

Berries and leaf surfaces with few to numerous  short-stalked, glandular hairs (left arrow).

Tubular flowers covered with short-stalked, glandular hairs (arrow).

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