Red Flowering Currant, a Pink Plant for Hummingbirds

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The red flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum) is a Pacific Northwest shrub full of stunning pink flowers. It is well-known as a hummingbird nectar plant in the Pacific Northwest. An early European visitor to the Pacific Northwest named David Douglas brought the plant back to Europe because of its beauty. There are now red and white-flowered cultivars of Ribes sanguineum.

This plant is an ideal choice for a sunny spot next to a pond. It acts as a food source for hummingbirds, and it is also a source of food and cover for other local birds. Planted in a smaller garden, it is truly a feature plant for spring time with its stunning pink flowers.

Soil, Water and Light Conditions for the Red Flowering Currant

The red flowering currant is a versatile perennial plant that can live in many different soil and water conditions. However, it is ideal for a stream side garden or a pond garden. Although Ribes sanguineum can survive full sun and drought conditions, it prefers to live in the dappled shade with a root zone that is damp but not wet. The ideal soil pH should be above around 6.

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Planting the Red Flowering Currant Bush

In February and beyond, the stunning flowers of the flowering currant appear. The red flowering currant grows flowers that are pink and one to one-and-a-half centimeters in length. The sepals range from pale pink to deep pink. These flowers grow together on a long stalk, giving the appearance of one large pink flower from far away. The berries of the flowering currant are grayish-black and are edible, though not particularly palatable. The leaves are a dusty green color and somewhat maple-shaped, with lobes.

Attract Hummingbirds With the Pink Flowers of Ribes Sanguineum

In early spring, hummingbirds migrate to the Pacific Northwest from Central and South America. These little birds have a high metabolism and need abundant sources of nectar to make their migration and restock on energy once they get to their destination. Hummingbirds are most attracted to pink or red bell-shaped flowers that suit the shape of the hummingbird’s beak. The pink flowers of the red flowering currant are an ideal source of nectar.

Flowering currant is a member of the gooseberry family. Like the gooseberry, its branches are gangly and crooked. This Ribes species grows up to four meters tall. It is not the perfect hedge plant but if planted together with other flowering currants, it will provide some cover for birds and prevent large animals from moving into the garden.

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Red flowering currant is a multifunctional plant that brings beauty, shade, cover, and food to a pond or stream side garden. Plant it for the hummingbirds or for its stunning flowers.

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Red Flowering Currant

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