Shrubs - Golden Currant

Golden Currant - Ribes odoratum
Golden Currant - Ribes odoratum

NPS Photo by Jim Pisarowicz

Shrub with lobed, coarsely toothed leaves that forms thickets reaching 5 feet tall. Yellow flowers provide its name, though the fruit produced ripens to purple-black in June. Fruits were harvested by Plains Indians for use in preparing pemmican, a winter staple food which combined fruit, meat (usually bison, elk, or deer) and fat. Also known as “buffalo currant” for this reason. The dark juice of crushed currant skins mixed with clay was used as decorative body paint by some tribes.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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