Ribes acerifolium (syn. Ribes howellii), also known as Howell’s gooseberry, maple-leaved currant, maple-leaf currant, and maple-leaved blackcurrant, is a deciduous perennial shrub native from southern British Columbia to Oregon and eastward to Idaho in the USA. Habitats include moist meadows, open ridges, rocky slopes, and streambanks at elevations from about 990m (3250 ft.) upwards to the timberline. Maple-leaved currant has an upright to spreading habit, with a tendency to form thickets. It has silvery-grey to brown bark and grows up to 1m (~3 ft.) tall.
The leaves are very similar in shape to typical maple leaves (Acer spp.), in that they are palmately lobed with crenate-serrate margins. Each leaf is slightly wider than it is long and has five lobes altogether (three large and two small). The clefts between the lobes are quite deep, reaching nearly halfway to the midrib. The tops of the leaves are smooth and dark green, while the undersides are lighter with fine hairs on the veins and often a few scattered resin dots. The leaves are alternately arranged on pubescent reddish-grey twigs, with petioles as long as the leaf blades.
From June to August, flowers are borne in pendant racemes with the pedicels connected below the ovaries. Each 3-5cm (~1-2 in.) long raceme carries seven to fifteen pink to burgundy blossoms; every blossom has five obovate petals, five stamens, and five calyx lobes that curve away from the flower. By midsummer, the racemes are replaced with clusters of ripe black berries, each 6-10mm (to 0.4 in.) across. These globular berries are slightly glandular; according to the Flora of North America account for Ribes acerifolium, their palatability is unknown.