The Currant family is familiar to all, on account of the grateful and healthy fruit which some of the species produce. Some of the tribe are highly ornamental, and desirable in the shrubbery.
Ribes sanguineum. - Red-flowering Currant. - This is a very handsome ornamental species, producing pendent racemes of rich deep-red flowers, in May. The shrub is about three feet high; the foliage elegant. The plant is easily propagated by cuttings. I find it is rather tender, the extremities of the branches being often killed in this climate. Probably, if planted the north side of a wall, or where it is partially shaded with evergreens, it would succeed better.
Kibes speciosa. - Crimson-flowering Currant. - The flowers are a bright-crimson, far superior in brilliancy to sanguineum. It is not very common, and, like the last, somewhat tender.
R. fragrans. - Fragrant Currant. - This, with the red-flowering varieties, are natives of North America. This species produces a profusion of yellow, fragrant flowers, in May, perfuming the whole region in its neighborhood.
R. aureum. - Golden-flowered Currant. - A native of Missouri, is very much like the last; all are propagated like the common Currant.
R. sanguineum flore plena. - The Double Crimson Currant. - We have not seen this beautiful flower, but, according to Mr. Downing's description, it must be very desirable. He says: "This new and charming variety of the Crimson-flowering Currant, is a seedling from R. sanguineum, by Mr. David Dick, gardener to the Earl of Selkirk. It is but just introduced into this country, but since, like all the Currant genus, it is very easily propagated by cuttings, we hope speedily to see it in every good collection of shrubs.
The blossoms are larger than the single variety, the racemes from three to six inches in length; and the effect of the shrub, when laden, in spring, with their fine pendent blossoms, is very rich and striking. Its flowers open, according to Paxton's Magazine, about three weeks later than those of the parent species.