Saturday, 18 March 2017

Flowering Currants

Nothing beats, as far as I am concerned, the early spring exuberance of Flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum). My childhood memories are not just of the colour and the scent, but also the buzz of countless bumblebees attracted to this bountiful nectar source. In Yorkshire the latter seems to be reduced, presumably because the cooler climate means that the flowers are too early to coincide with the first brood of worker bees.

It is not a native plant but is commonly naturalised in VC64. In VC31 it is rare and usually of planted origin. Everyone knows the standard red flowered form, but there are other cultivars with flowers of different shades. In West Yorkshire (VC63 and 64), a pale pink form is commonly encountered and given its predominance around Woodlesford clearly breeds true. The name 'Pallescens' seems to cover this plant.

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