Ribes laurifolium.

Ribes laurifolium

Ribes laurifolium

If your idea of a Flowering Currant is the ubiquitous Ribes sanguineum which is to be seen in nearly every suburban garden along with Forsythia, then you may be surprised at this lovely Ribes. I am not knocking the commonly seen Flowering Currant, I think it is a welcome sign of spring. I don’t even mind the smell which many people object to; it takes me straight back to my childhood.

Ribes sanguineum

Ribes sanguineum

I have to say though, I much prefer Ribes laurifolium. It  starts flowering much earlier than the pink one. it has a very light fragrance, and what makes it a winner in my eyes are the creamy green flowers. I can never resist green flowers. It doesn’t grow more than about a metre high but it grows outwards to make a reasonable sized shrub. Wherever the branches rest on the ground it roots itself so you always have bits to give away to friends. The leaves as the name suggest look a bit like small laurel leaves but they are not so tough or so shiny.

If you want berries you have to get a male and a female form of the shrub or else the Hermaphrodite: ‘Rosemoor form’. I have never particularly noticed the berries so I have not bothered to do this. ‘Amy Doncaster’ is supposed to be a particularly good form and more floriferous  but I can’t see much difference between any of them.

IMG_6781
In a future post I will write about a few other Ribes that I grow but now I want to give you a quick update on my Narcissus minor”Cedric Morris’ that I wrote a post about on 6th January when it first started to bloom .


Here they are, the same flowers now that I showed you in January still going strong. I cannot think of any other Narcissus which blooms as long as this. Sometimes it is in flower for Christmas, but it is always there by the beginning of January. It is quite difficult to find but well worth seeking out.

Finally, you’ve probably noticed that I have changed my header at last. My son has being telling me for ages to get rid of the photo of the manky primroses. In my defence, I have to say that I put up that photo in the early days of my blog and I wasn’t wearing my specs at the time. I didn’t realise the primroses had nasty spots on them.  Anyway I was talking mainly to myself at the time so it didn’t really matter. But now for you kind people who follow me despite the mouldy primroses I have decided I really should put up something more appealing as a header. I was sick of the sight of it myself.

I thought it would be really complicated changing the header or I would have done it ages ago.  Actually it is really easy. So from now on I shall be changing it all the time as the seasons go on. Unless my lovely son will take a photo of the garden for me that is so wonderful I will never want to change it. (A gentle hint but probably falling on deaf ears as he has better things to do than read his mother’s blog.)

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31 Responses to Ribes laurifolium.

  1. Alison says:

    What a lovely new header photo, that’s one of your Hellebores with a history, isn’t it? I have lots of Ribes sanguineum, I love them as they are a PNW native shrub which of course loves the conditions in my PNW garden. But the flowers on the R. laurifolium are lovely, and I’m in favor of anything that blooms early.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Alison, yes the photo is Hellebore ‘Petsamo’. I love your Witch Hazel header. I didn’ t realise Riibes sanguineum was native there. How lovely to see it growing wild.

  2. Pauline says:

    Lovely white flowers on your Ribes, so much nicer I think than the pink flowers! Your Cedric Morris narcissus are amazing, flowering for so long, they certainly earn their space.

  3. Chloris says:

    Yes they are actually a creamy green which is lovely.
    I always knew N.Cedric Morris flowered for a long time but until I started this blog I had no idea how long. It is great to have a record of it.

  4. Julie says:

    Hello Chloris, I purchased a plant last last year with the label Ribes odoratum written on it from an agricultural college plant stall for £1.50 and I have not yet planted it in the ground. Have you grown it? I wanted to replace an elderly inherited Sanguineum which I do not like. Your new header is really lovely too.

  5. Chloris says:

    Thank you Julie. That was a bargain price for a Ribes odoratum! I have one which was a cutting from a friend. It has pretty yellow flowers which smell delicious. A sort of clovey smell. It’s lovely.

  6. Cathy says:

    Until I saw your post I didn’t realise there was anything other than the ubiquitous pink one – but having read it made it easy to recognise a plant I saw today at the arboretum as a Ribes even though I couldn’t find a label. I will compare photos later to see if it was laurifolium

  7. Chloris says:

    The leaves are quite distinctive, as are the creamy, green flowers. I think you need to go back and buy one!

  8. rusty duck says:

    Oh, now that is a beauty. So much nicer than the pink. Love your new header too 🙂

  9. Chloris says:

    Thank you, Jessica. It is lovely and starts flowering much earlier than the pink one.

  10. pbmgarden says:

    It’s always fun to learn bout a new plant. I’m not sure if Flowering Currants grow here or if I’ve just been oblivious. N.Cedric Morris seems like a valued friend for the early garden.

    • Chloris says:

      I thought that Ribes sanguineum was native to North Carolina. Or am I confusing it with somewhere else in America? Anyway I’ m sure you must have flowering currants. They are such a feature of spring.

      • pbmgarden says:

        Wikipedia says ” native to western coastal North America from central British Columbia south to central California.” I’m on the opposite coast but there may be some growing here. I have a long way to go to learn all these plants and reading blogs like yours is helpful. Susie

      • Chloris says:

        Thank you Susie. Sorry, my knowledge of the geography of America is shamefully hazy. Coming from a tiny island, I can’t get my head round how vast it is.

  11. I have read about Ribes laurifolium, but never seen, or smelt one. It’s one I’ve had on my “to get” list, along with R. odoratum , for quite some time now. So much more delicate, both in appearance and scent. I also recognised your Hellebore “Petsamo” in your new header – a good choice! And glad you found changing it easier than you imagined, as I struggle with things like that too! By the way, your son must have been reading your blog to notice the “manky primroses” !

  12. Chloris says:

    The really fragrant one is odoratum, I find that laurifolium is only very lightly scented.
    To be fair I think my son does read it sometimes and his lovely girlfriend did the drawing of me and my wheelbarrow. She also did the picture of me and Pip gazing at the snowdrop. He has promised to come and take some photos of the garden for me.I am not very good at composing long shots.

  13. Flighty says:

    I’d be happy to have both ribes in the garden. I’m amazed that your narcissus have been flowering for two months.
    I like the new header picture. I change mine occasionally, and find that the only problem is taking, or editing, a picture to fit. xx

    • Chloris says:

      It really is a special little Narcissus.
      If you like Ribes sanguineum it is the easiest thing in the world to propagate, just beg a bit from someone who has one and stick it in the ground. I have found that it even roots in a jug of water.

  14. We have a very small laurifolium, grown from a cutting from somewhere I can’t recall. It has flowered from the first and although it seems to be extremely slow growing (with us anyway) always does its darnedist to flower.

  15. Chloris says:

    It is slow growing and when it does get going it seems to grow outwards rather than up. But it is so full of lovely green flowers, who could resist it?

  16. Alain says:

    This Narcissus minor ”Cedric Morris’ is simply amazing!
    I don’t have any decorative ribes but I have lots of currants. Perhaps I should add a few because I have noticed that the humming birds particularly like currant flowers. These flowers are really insignificant but when in bloom they are abuzz with humming birds.

  17. Chloris says:

    Des colibris? Now I am really jealous, how wonderful to have humming birds.

  18. Very nice! I wasn’t familiar with this currant. I have two currants: R. americanum and R. odoratum. R. americanum has chartreuse flowers and black berries, R. odoratum has fragrant yellow flowers and larger (for currants) purple berries that you can eat off the vine.

    • Chloris says:

      well I like the idea of that; flowers and then fruit as well. I grow the edible blackcurrants: Ribes nigrum but they have insignificant flowers.

  19. Anna says:

    Oh Chloris I do so like the idea of a lovely plant that so considerately roots itself so that you can pass it along to friends 🙂 I think that I could find room for ribes laurifolium in my garden. Have only ever grown ribes sanguineum. It’s interesting to see how different the foliage is between the two plants. I like your new header but have to confess to having never noted spots on the primroses but maybe I wasn’t wearing my specs either.

  20. Chloris says:

    I have given all the rooted bits away this year but I will send you a bit you can try and root yourself along with the promised Galanthus Walrus. Don’t forget to send me your address.

  21. bittster says:

    Nice new header! I feel like I should change mine now too, although I still do talk mostly to myself!
    That narcissus is amazing, such a long bloom time. I don’t have that one, but here if the harsh cold doesn’t stop the early bloomers, a sudden heat wave will do in the lingerers, so it’s a different kind of season. The ribes are interesting. You rarely see them here, I think they were banned for the longest time to protect the local pines from a rust they host. Only recently have states allowed their sale.

  22. Chloris says:

    You are not really talking to yourself, I am listening and I am sure lots of other people are too.
    The ban explains why so many American bloggers don’t know Ribes sanguineum.. It is in every garden here.
    I couldn’t understand why I never saw any Narcissus in the south of France. Perhaps it gets too hot for them.

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