Chrysosplenium L. Golden Saxifrage

Small, fleshy, but delicate herbs, creeping at the base, with golden yellow flowering stems, orbicular leaves and small yellow flowers in short, leafy terminal cymes. Petals o. Stamens 8-10. Ovary inferior, 1-celled. Capsule 2-lobed.

A small genus found in the temperate and colder regions of both hemispheres.

Chrysosplenium Oppositifolium L

In loose, leafy tufts spreading over a considerable area. Stems 4 or 5 inches high, usually forked at the top. Leaves all opposite, slightly crenate, with a few stiff hairs on the upper surface. Flowers small, sessile, in little compact yellowish green cymes, surrounded by similar leaves to the others, but smaller and golden yellow.

Wet, shady places in the sub-Alps and plains. May.


Most of Europe and Russian Asia, British Isles.

Chrysosplenium Alternifolium L

A more slender and rather taller species than the last. Leaves always alternate, and the lower ones on longer stalks and more kidney-shaped. Often growing with the other species.

Similar situations to the last, but rarer in Switzerland. May.


Europe, Northern and Central Asia, N. America, extending to the Arctic regions. Britain.

Ribes L. Currant

Sometimes given a separate family (RibesiaceAE). Shrubs with alternate leaves, no stipules and small, axillary flowers in racemes or rarely solitary. Styles 2. Stamens, petals, and sepals 4 or 5. Ovary inferior, 1-celled. Fruit a berry, the seeds being surrounded by pulpy juice.

A genus spread over the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, with a small number of species in the Andes.

Ribes Grossularia L. Gooseberry

A small, much - branched, prickly shrub, 2-4 feet high, the prickles being single or in twos and threes. Leaves orbicular, palmately divided into 3 or 5 crenated lobes. Flowers green, hanging on short pedicels. Berry small and yellowish, often covered with stiff hairs, but in the mountains frequently glabrous.

Stony, bushy places and roadsides in the plains and sub-Alps. It flowers in April, and the fruit ripens about August. In some Swiss valleys it ascends to 4500 feet, as for example in Val d'Anniviers.


Central and Southern Europe and Western Asia. N. Africa. Introduced into Britain.

Ribes Rubrum L. Red Currant

A branching shrub 3-5 feet high, without prickles. Leaves stalked, larger than in the Gooseberry, more or less glabrous above, downy beneath. Flowers small, greenish white, in axillary, pendulous racemes at the base of the year's shoots. Pedicels short. Berries red when ripe, or rarely yellowish.

Sub-spontaneous in rocky woods here and there in Switzerland. April, May.


Central and Northern Europe, N. and W. Asia, doubtfully indigenous in Britain. N. America.

Ribes Petrceum. Wulfen

About the height of the last and of R. alpinum. Leaves 3-5 lobed, lobes triangular, acute, doubly serrated, heart-shaped at the base, pubescent beneath. Inflorescence erect, pendulous after fertilisation. Sepals roundly oboval, reddish. Berries red, globular, acid.

Shady, rocky places in mountain and sub-alpine woods and glens. May, June.


Alps, Jura, Vosges, Corbieres, Pyrenees, Central Europe, Caucasus, Armenia, Siberia, Algeria.

Ribes Alpinum L

Flowers small, yellowish green, always dioecious or unisexual; the males in little erect racemes about an inch long, with slender pedicels, the females, on separate shrubs, fewer together, in short racemes, often almost sessile. Berries small, red, tasteless.

Rocky mountain woods. May, June.


Central and Northern Europe, Caucasus, Siberia. British. N. America.

The Black Currant (Ribes nigrum L.), known by its scent and black berries, is rarely found wild in Switzerland.