Ribes cereum “Wax Currant” Grossulariaceae

Missoula, MT
July 19, 2015
Robert Niese

Apparently the berries of the Wax Currant are not very palatable. In fact, its young leaves and flowers are a much more prized trailside treat than its fruits! These little berries will retain their characteristically long, shriveled flowers to maturity when they start to turn red. Perhaps I’ll collect some for a wildberry jam later this summer.

Ribes lacustre “Spiny Swamp Currant” Grossulariaceae

Lolo National Forest, Bitterroot Mountains, MT
May 10, 2015
Robert Niese

East of the Cascades, the Spiny Swamp Currant is the most common member of Ribes in shady, wet areas of dense coniferous forests. Their berries, like most Ribes are edible but quite unpalatable. 

Ribes setosum (R. oxyacanthoides ssp. setosum) “Gooseberry” Grossulariaceae

Lolo National Forest, Bitterroot Mountains, MT
April 18, 2015
Robert Niese

I was surprised to find this currant blooming on my hike this weekend. This individual must have been receiving direct sunlight for a good portion of the day to have bloomed so much sooner than all the others along our trail. Later in the summer these adorable flowers will become delicious, juicy black currants and will make an excellent trail-side treat!