West Highland Flora

Downy Currant


Ribes spicatum

Sometimes known as Ribes rubrum var spicatum.  The garden Red Currant is known as R rubrum, R sylvestre or R rubrum var sylvestre.

Ribes spicatum

Photo Carl Farmer
31 Jul 2004 Storr, Skye
Leaf below fruit c 3.5 cm across at widest

Occasional, generally among boulders, where the shoots emerging from the boulder crevices are much chewed by sheep as in the bottom right picture.

Flower diameter c 6-8 mm.  Fruit diameter c 5-10 mm

ID: Similar to the familiar garden Red Currant which could occur as an escape.  The main difference is in the leaf sinus (the angle between the leaf edges at its base).  To assess this, it's important to flatten the leaf first.  On Downy Currant the angle on most leaves is very wide, usually > 90 and sometimes > 180.  On Red Currrant the angle is often < 90 and sometimes almost nil.  Examine many leaves to get an average.

Other features: Flowers in an upright spike which droops in fruit.  In Red Currant it droops from the start.  The 2 anther lobes at the end of the stamens are close together in Downy C but well separated in Red C.

 

Ribes spicatum

Photo Carl Farmer
31 Jul 2004 Storr, Skye
Fruit c 6 mm diameter

  Ribes spicatum

Photo Carl Farmer
31 Jul 2004 Storr, Skye


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