Plant Encyclopedia

Golden Currant

Ribes aureum

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Golden Currant shrub with yellow flowers

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Golden Currant

You can add some ornamental beauty to your yard with the help of the Golden currant (Ribes aureum). These shrubs are known for their trumpet-shaped yellow flowers and spicy-sweet fragrance. This currant will make a wonderful addition to your outdoor spaces. If you want a real stunner for your landscape, make sure to add the Golden currant to your inventory.

Plant Attributes

The Golden currant is known by several names, including the Clove currant, Buffalo currant, and Missouri currant. It is a small to medium-sized shrub that ranges from 6 to 10 feet tall. The leaves are lobed and have a bluish-green color. In the spring, your spaces dazzle with a display of golden yellow flowers. These blooms have a fragrance that is similar to vanilla or cloves. That spicy scent attracts plenty of visitors, like monarch butterflies and hummingbirds. The Golden currant’s leaves are green and have a shape similar to gooseberry leaves. In the autumn, those green leaves transform into a reddish color.

This shrub produces berries in the summer. The ripe fruits are a half-inch in diameter and can be consumed. For that reason, you will find plenty of birds in your yard trying to snack on these treats. If you want to enjoy the berries for yourself, use them in pies, jellies, jams, and currant ice cream.

Landscape Use

The Golden currant is an excellent choice for ground cover, watershed protection, and wildlife habitats. You can use this shrub for those areas with high winds. The currant provides some protection for your landscape. Since the Golden currant can reach a height of 4 to 6 feet, you might want to place these shrubs around your space as a hedge. The beautiful flowers and spicy scent are guaranteed to be the focal point of your landscape.

This Ribes aureum is known for producing delicious berries. If you want to design a fruit orchard, add this species to those spaces. You can place these currants in spots where it will be easy to harvest the fruit. Since it is considered a water-wise shrub, this variety is an excellent choice for xeriscapes and other low-moisture gardens.

Planting & Care for 

Golden Currant

The Ribes aureum is suitable to plant in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8. For those newly planted Golden currants, you need to water regularly and keep the soil evenly moist. Once the plant has established, you can gradually decrease the watering schedule. If you want to conserve water for those new plants, add a 2-inch mound near the trunk. Mature Golden currants require little moisture. This shrub can adapt to a wide range of soil types.

After a few years, you can prune the Golden currant after it has bloomed. Cut those older stems to the ground. If you are having trouble finding those stems, the older branches are darker in color. Shaping the Ribes aureum is simple. By trimming the shoots, you will want to cut those stronger buds.

Additional Information

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Golden Currant

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This loosely-branched, arching shrub features blue-green lobed leaves. However, the real beauty lies in the flowers. These golden yellow flowers appear in the spring, and they emit a strong, clove-like scent that will drift throughout your landscape. During June and July, berries develop on the branches. These fruits are perfect for jams, jellies, and pies. With all these features, you will want to add this beautiful and versatile shrub to your landscape.

Arbor Valley Nursery can help you bring this stunning shrub to your business. Our team can assist you in finding just the right selection for your landscape design. Whether you need trees or flowers, our shrub nursery has the experience to make your outdoor spaces shine throughout the year. If you want to learn more about the brilliant Golden currant, please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.

Plant Features

  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Watering Needs: Low, once established
  • Botanical Pronunciation: RIE-bees AW-ree-um
  • Deciduous/evergreen: Deciduous
  • Growth rate: Moderate
  • Average landscape size: 4 to 6 feet high and 5 to 8 in width
  • Special features: Fragrant shrub with bright yellow flowers and edible berries
  • Foliage color: Green
  • Blooms: Spring
  • Flower color: Golden yellow
  • Flower attributes: Flowers have a strong fragrance reminiscent of spicy cloves
  • Garden style: Woodland plantings, orchards, and xeriscapes
  • Design Ideas: The large Golden currant makes the perfect windbreak or wildlife habitat. Add this shrub to those fruit orchards. Plant near spaces to enjoy the spicy scent and yellow flowers. Since it is a water-wise plant, the Golden currant is an ideal choice for xeriscapes.
  • Companion Plants: Use native grasses and fine-textured perennials, such as columbine (Aquilegia spp) and prairie coneflower (Ratibida columnifera), as lovely companion plants for the Golden currant.

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