Ribes speciosum

Flowering Currants are usually hardy shrubs and perhaps a little old fashioned in the eyes of some although the Honeyeaters seem to still love them. The above species from California is however something quite different with its spiny arching stems and pendant scarlet tubular flowers in late winter and early spring. It is drought tolerant and truly elegant even if its as prickly as sin! If you have good gloves it can be trained up a wall which shows off its flowers superbly. Sun to semi-shade and if it gets really dry in summer it will just drop all its leaves. Not the easiest thing to propagate but I have some lovely plants in 8″ pots at $32.50

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