This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Pollinator Plant List: Hummingbirds” series – 30 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that attract hummingbirds.
Montara foothill currant
Ribes malvaceum ‘Montara Rose’
Size: Up to 5 feet tall and wide.
Bloom season: Profuse small clusters of dark pink flowers in late winter and early spring.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade; morning sun and afternoon shade are best in Sacramento area.
Pruning needs: Shape when young to encourage a dense form.
Water needs: Very low; once established, it needs little additional water. Irrigate deeply once a month in summer.
Snapshot: This tough shrub is native to California’s coastal foothills, particularly near Montara State Beach south of Pacifica. This currant prefers good drainage and afternoon shade – particularly in Sacramento, where the summers are much hotter than its native habitat. During late winter and early spring, this variety produces attractive, dark pink clusters of flowers – a source of nectar to resident hummingbirds. Extremely drought resistant, this foothill currant may lose its leaves in summer without irrigation.
For more on “Pollinator Plant List: Hummingbirds,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.