Ribes americanum

Wild Black Currant

Inflorescence in Ground

Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park

The Ribes genus was previously placed within a traditional version of the Saxifragaceae family which included a great many diverse genera.  That version of the Saxifragaceae family is now considered to be polyphyletic, and the family is now much reduced.  Ribes has been moved to a new family called Grossulariaceae, within which Ribes is the only genus.  Budd's Flora (1987) still places Ribes in Saxifragaceae, while Flora of Alberta (1994) places it in Grossulariaceae.


Americanum: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora (BF)  and Flora of Alberta (FOA) leading to this species. 
bulletstems not spiny, or spines only at the nodes; NOT [stems densely spiny along the internodes] (BF)
bulletstems not prickly; NOT [stems more or less prickly] (FOA)
bulletstems not bristly; NOT [stems usually bristly] (FOA)
bulletleaves plicate (folded) in the bud; NOT [leaves convolute (rolled) in the bud]
bullet NOT [plants with leaves, young stems, inflorescence and fruits all glandular-puberulent]
bulletleaves dotted beneath with resinous glands or bearing stalked glands; NOT [leaves without resinous glands]
bulletinflorescence an elongated raceme, flowers numerous; NOT [inflorescence a reduced raceme, 1- to 3- flowered]
bulletpedicels much shorter than the bracts; NOT [pedicels much longer than the bracts]
bulletpedicels jointed below the ovary
bulletflowers regular; NOT [flowers slightly irregular]
bullethypanthium-tube tubular to narrowly cup-shaped; NOT [hypanthium-tube broadly cup-shaped]
bulletflowers not golden yellow; NOT [flowers golden yellow to somewhat reddish]
bulletsepals greenish white or yellowish; NOT [sepals white]
bulletovary lacking sessile glands; NOT [ovary usually with a few sessile glands]
bulletovary and fruit glabrous; NOT [ovary and fruit more or less densely glandular pubescent]
bulletfruits black when mature; NOT [fruits reddish or blue-black when mature]



Grossulariaceae: Answers to key questions in Flora of Alberta leading to this family.
bulletplants NOT aquatic
bulletplants green; NOT [plants white, pink or reddish brown]
bulletshrubs; NOT [herbs]
bulletplants armed with prickles, spines or thorns; NOT [plants unarmed]
bulletleaves or branches armed, not both; NOT [leaves and branches both armed]
bulletbranches with needle-like spines; NOT [branches with stout thorns (1) 2-7 cm long]
bulletleaves alternate; NOT [leaves opposite], NOT [leaves whorled]
bulletleaves well developed; NOT [leaves reduced to scales]
bulletleaves NOT pinnate
bulletleaves NOT spiny-margined
bulletstamens 5; NOT [stamens 10]