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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
FUCHSIA FLOWERING GOOSEBERRY
Pronounced: RYE-beez spee-see-OH-sum
Sunset zones: 7-9, 14-24.
USDA zones: 7-9.
Heat zones: 9-7.
Height: 6 feet (2 m).
Width: 6 feet (2 m).
Mid to late spring.
Dark red, bell-shaped flowers.
3 to 5 lobed, glossy, dark green leaves.
Full sun to partial shade.
Well-drained, humus rich soil.
Sow seed as soon as ripe and place in cold frame in autumn.
Semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
Prune after flowering is finished, when neccessary.
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
Ribes speciosum with its wicked prickles and beautiful fountain shape makes an excellent barrier plant. When pruning, I advise wearing body armor. The California native will grow in pure sand to clay soil as long as it is well-drained, although it grows better planted in humus rich soil. It is drought tolerant once established. The California fuchsia will die back to the ground when temperatures dip down below 12°F (-11°C).
Plant this shrub for hummingbirds and butterflies and watch them stake a claim over the shrub. Ribes speciosum is considered deer resistant. Choose the plant location carefully so that you can see the shrub in early spring. However, keep it well away from walkways, where you will not tangle with its thorns. The fruit is edible raw or cooked, although I have not tried the fruit to report on its taste.
Photographed in author's garden.