This native shrub, with arching branches, grows up to 5 feet tall (A). Its small leaves are lobed and rounded; they turn a reddish-brown in the fall (E). They are usually clustered at the branch nodes and accompanied by red-brown spines (A,D,F). Image “F” shows spines on a new growth twig. The flowers are greenish-white and slim; they dangle from the twigs (B). The fruit is a spherical berry which turns from green to purple at maturity (C,D).
Grows in upland and floodplain woods, flowering in April and May. In Fontenelle Forest, common along Hawthorn Trail. At Neale Woods, common along most woodland trails. The related Wild Black Currant (Ribes americanum) has yellow flower clusters and lacks spines. Its fruit is black at maturity.
The content of NatureSearch is provided by dedicated volunteer Naturalists of Fontenelle Forest who strive to provide the most accurate information available. Contributors of the images retain their copyrights. The point of contact for this page is: Roland Barth.