This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
Spiny or unarmed. Calyx-limb 5-parted, usually coloured. Petals small, alternating with the stamens on the throat of the calyx, often scale-like and inconspicuous. Upwards of fifty species are described, inhabiting Europe, temperate Asia, and America. Ribas is the Arabic name of a medicinal plant. The Currants and Gooseberries of our gardens are types of this genus. The following are a few of the showiest ornamental species.
1. R. sanguineum (fig. 100). - This species, of North American origin, is now very common in our gardens, and deserving of a place in every shrubbery. Its deep red flowers are produced in great abundance in early Spring. There are several varieties of it, differing in the colour of the flowers, including white, pink, and crimson, and there is a variety with double flowers. Malvaceum and superbum are amongst the best. R. Gordonianum, having red flowers tinged with yellow, is a hybrid between this and the following species, partaking of the characters of both, but less desirable than either of the parent species.
Fig. 100. Ribes sanguiueum. (1/3 nat. size.)
2. R. aureum. - Leaves glabrous, shining, irregularly lobed. Flowers yellow, the small petals bordered with red. The habit of this is more spreading than in the preceding. It is also a native of North America.
3. R. speciosum, syn. R. fuchsioides. - This is an extremely handsome shrub with small irregularly toothed and lobed oblong leaves and crimson flowers remarkable for the long ex-serted stamens, resembling in this respect some of the Fuchsias. The whole plant is more or less spiny and glandular-hispid. A native of California, flowering in Spring.