Ribes sanguineum, or red-flowered currant, was previously featured in fruit on Botany Photo of the Day. There have been a few recent plant identification requests on the forums that turned out to be this species, so I thought it timely to highlight it.
It seems like every popular account I read about this western North American native showers it with compliments, and deservedly so. I particularly like Sarah Gage’s account of Ribes sanguineum for the Washington Native Plant Society‘s Plant of the Month series, which includes a tidbit on how popular this plant became when it was introduced into cultivation in London. A similarly entertaining article is shared by Ketzel Levine.
Ribes is the only genus in the Grossulariaceae. It has an interesting distribution: much of Europe, Asia, and North America, mountainous regions of Central and South America and a small area in northern Africa. If you scroll down on that page, you can compare the Grossulariaceae distribution range with its closest familial relative, the Saxifragaceae. The similarities are very curious, and suggest that the families share limitations that prevent them from becoming cosmopolitan in distribution.
In BPotD news, today is the second anniversary of this weblog. The past year has been a mix of successes and disappointments. What I am most pleased about is the continued generosity of the folks from around the world who kindly share their photographs for use in BPotD. To those who do, thank you very much! I wish there was the time and space to be able to use all of them on BPotD. Since there isn’t, I’d also like to thank all of those who contribute for their understanding that the one-a-day process means I can’t use every image.
I’m also pleased that between the forums and BPotD, the garden’s web site has as much “reach” (as determined by Alexa.com) as any of three of the largest botanical gardens in the world, Missouri, New York and Kew (here’s the comparison graph) – on roughly 1/50th of the institutional budget. Again, though, that is in large part thanks to the hundreds of people who contribute freely of their time on the forums, for which we at the garden are very grateful.
And now for a bit of bad news: starting with tomorrow’s entry, and continuing through to the end of September, BPotD will be image + the-briefest-of-text on weekends, holiday weekdays and (my) vacation days. I’ve done this in the past, so it’s nothing too new, but it will occur more frequently. Since I’ve failed to secure help with summertime relief for the web site, pulling back a little is the only available option. I curtail my weekend travelling come October, so BPotD will likely return to the more typical 7 days-a-week image+text format then.