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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Ribes sanguineum glutinosum 'Claremont'
PINK FLOWERING CURRANT, WINTER CURRANT
Pronounced: RYE-bees san-GWIN-ee-um
Sunset zones: A3; 4-9, 14-24.
USDA zones: 6-8.
Heat zones: 8-6.
Height: 8 feet (2.5 m).
Width: 6 feet (2 m).
Late winter to early spring.
Rosy-red buds open to small, tubular, pink flowers on 6-inch long racemes that age to red.
Dark green, 2-4 inch long, maple-like, 3-5 lobed leaves.
Deciduous, upright shrub or small tree.
Full sun to partial shade.
Medium fertile, well-drained soil.
Side dress with compost in fall.
Hardwood cuttings in winter.
Semi-ripe cuttings in late summer and early fall.
Prune severely after flowering if shrub becomes leggy.
Pests and Diseases:
Mostly disease resistant; however, all ribes can harbor white pine blister rust, so growing near pines is not recommended.
Rainy Side Notes
The flowering currant Ribes attracts hummingbirds like no other shrub in late winter to early spring. One of my favorites, R. 'Claremont', not only keeps the hummingbirds coming back for more, but also does it superbly by cloaking itself in pink. I view its welcoming branches above my pond, covered in racemes of dark pink buds, opening to a lighter hue, that age to a striking red. After the early flower show is over, it fades into the background until the following late winter to early spring.
Even though this shrub prefers moist, well-drained soil, it is drought tolerant once established, requiing little additional water during our typical summer drought in the maritime Northwest. Birds favor the shrub's one-third-inch diameter, blue-black fruit that ripens later in the summer.
Photographed in author's garden.