1. Kansas Forest Service
  2. »Conservation Trees
  3. »Products
  4. »Shrubs
  5. »Golden Currant

Kansas Forest Service

Kansas Forest Service
2610 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66502

Subscribe to the Kansas Canopy Newsletter!

Golden Currant

golden currant Ribes odoratum, or Golden currant, grows along the woodland borders or in the open. It tolerates about 50% shade. It prefers a well-drained soil and is rather common in sandy areas of central Kansas. It is found statewide often in loose, open thickets.

Mature Size
Golden currant reaches a height of 3 to 5 feet and a spread of 3 to 5 feet.

Growth Rate
It grows at about 12 to 18 inches per year.

Leaves, Stems and Fruit
Leaves are rounded or triangular with 3 to 5 lobes. Yellow flowers bloom in late May. These are followed by a 1/3 to 1/2 inch, rounded, edible fruit which are purple-black when ripe. The twigs do not have thorns.

Wildlife Habitat - Golden currant provides preferred roosting, loafing, or nesting cover for several songbirds. It's fruit is used by many birds for food. This plant is a preferred browse for mule deer.
Windbreaks - This plant can be used as an outside row in windbreaks. Its open growth pattern makes it a poor choice for single row windbreaks.
Human Food - The fruit is edible and may be used in pies, jam and jelly.

Adaptation and Soil
Golden currant has adapted statewide and prefers well drained soils.

Golden currants are usually spaced 4 feet apart.

One-year-old, bare-root seedlings, 12 to 18 inches tall are used in conservation plantings. Control of weed and grass competition is important for good survival and growth. 

No serious pests.

Soil Information
Average Height in 20 Yrs: 
-Eastern3-5 ft.
-Central3-5 ft.
-Western3-5 ft.
Growth Rate:Medium
Native Species:Native to Kansas
Windbreak Value:High
Wildlife Value:High
Lumber Products:No
Fuelwood Products:No
Drought Tolerance:High
Soil Saturation:No Tolerance
Salinity Tolerance:No Tolerance
pH Range:6-8