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Common Shrub Species of the Northwest Forest

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Ribes glandulosum
Skunk Currant
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

Description

General - ascending to trailing shrub, to 1 m tall; strong skunky odour when bruised; branches have no prickles or bristles.

Skunk Currant Leaves - maple-leaf-shaped, 5-7 lobes, 2-7 cm across; lobes pointed and sharp-toothed; fresh green, hairless or with sparse gland-tipped hairs on veins below.

Flowers - 6-15 in erect or ascending clusters; whitish to pink, with gland-tipped hairs; stalks jointed, bear gland-tipped hairs; sepals, 2-2.5 mm long, without hairs on outside; petals longer than broad; appearing in June.

Fruit - dark red berries, about 6 mm across, bristly, with stalked glands, disagreeable odour and flavour; ripening in July and August.

Habitat

Moist woods, thickets, rocky slopes and clearings, across NW Ontario's boreal region.

Notes

The Skunk Currant is easily distinguished from other Ribes species by its skunk-like odour. However, berries of the Skunk Currant are very tasty when fresh.

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