Plant Identification

Asked April 10, 2018, 12:57 PM EDT

Several years ago, we purchased a berry plant from the Umpqua Native Plant Society. Sadly, we didn't write down what it was. : ) It has never born fruit so we are wondering if it needed a pollinizer? Could you please advise - thanks!

Douglas County Oregon

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. This looks like red-flowering current (Ribes sanguineum). I am surprised to hear that it has never borne fruit since it has many flowers and this species usually attracts several bee species, butterfly species, and hummingbirds as pollinators. One thing to consider is that the fruit is somewhat small. Take a look at this website for pictures to help with looking for the fruit:

https://landscapeplants.oregonstate.edu/plants/ribes-sanguineum

You might also keep an eye out for pollinators: Do you see insects or hummingbirds visiting the plant? Are they spending time in the flowers? If not, you may try planting other pollinator plants nearby to attract more to your yard:

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/12-plants-entice-pollinators-your-garden

Or you may consider creating more pollinator habitat on your property:

https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/ec1649_0.pdf



Thanks for your quick reply. Perhaps we did miss the fruit looking for something else! We have five beehives, so I'm sure it's getting pollinated! We will look more carefully - have you ever eaten any? Are they sour like gooseberries?
When would I expect them to ripen?
Thanks again,
Sherrie

The berries mature in early to mid-summer. I have never eaten them, but the literature says that they are fairly tasteless or insipid. Before eating a wild food, always double check with a plant identification field guide and make sure what you are ingesting is indeed non-toxic. Eat at your own risk!