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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Swamp Red Currant - Ribes triste

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2?
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 7

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it is known from a few collections from the western portion of the state. Additional data are needed.
General Description
Swamp Red Currant is a shrub that is up to 1 m tall. It has unarmed spreading to nearly prostrate, straw-colored stems that are glabrous to sparsely hairy and glandular. The alternate leaves have petioles and broadly spade-shaped blades, which are up to 10 cm wide and resemble a maple leaf. Leaves are glabrous above but sparsely hairy below. 6-13 short-stalked flowers are borne in pendant, open, spike-like inflorescences in the leaf axils. The flowers have a glabrous, saucer-shaped, purple or purple-spotted, 5-lobed calyx that is 2-3 mm long and 5 reddish-purple petals that are ca. 1 mm long. The 5 stamens are ca. as long as the petals, and the 2 glabrous styles are united below midlength. The ovary is attached inside the base of the calyx and matures into an egg-shaped, glabrous, bright red berry that is less than 1 cm long.

Flowering in July.

Diagnostic Characteristics
There are many species of Ribes; a technical manual and hand lens are required for positive identification. Ribes hudsonianum, the other native species with unarmed stems and saucer-shaped flowers, has a glandular calyx.

Species Range

Range Comments
In MT in Granite County; AK to NF, south to OR, SD, and VA; Asia.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 6

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Moist soil of forest openings in the montane to lower subalpine zones.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

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Citation for data on this website:
Swamp Red Currant — Ribes triste.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from