The ribes species includes red and black currants, gooseberries, jostaberries, worcesterberries and more. Now that it’s Spring, my garden is giving a beautiful example of just how similar the flowers of these different plants look.
Currants form a little differently from gooseberries and jostaberries. Instead of single flowers that will form single berries coming out at leaf nodes, they form a grouping called a “strig” that can contain up to 20 berries! They start tiny, about the size of a bud and look like tiny grapes as they form into flowers.
Soon they grow away from the stem, and the strig elongates as individual flowers unwrap and form.
Regardless of cultivar, the red currant mostly looks the same whether the berry itself is going to be red, pink, or translucent white.
Here is a closeup of a flower from Pink Champagne.
Compare that to a black currant, like this flower from Slitsa. They are quite similar but have a lot of differences, too.
Here is a Jostaberry flower, which is a cross between a black currant and a gooseberry.
It’s pretty easy to see the relationship to gooseberry flowers. Here is Black Velvet:
And here is Hinnomaki Red for comparison.
Not all gooseberries have reddish petals. Here is Jeanne, a new release from the U.S. Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis, Oregon.
And finally, here is a quick snapshot from my phone of a wild currant flowering during one of my walks.