This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum’s “Garden Gems” series – 45 can’t-fail, easy-care, low-water plants well adapted to our region and that add sparkle to drought-tolerant landscapes.
‘Dancing Tassels’ large-flowered chaparral currant
Ribes malvaceum ‘Dancing Tassels’
Size: Up to 6 feet tall and wide.
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Bloom season: Large clusters of pendulous pink and white flowers in late fall and winter.
Exposure: Full sun or partial shade.
Pruning needs: Prune young plant to shape and increase branching.
Water needs: Low water; once established, water deeply once a month.
Snapshot: Hummingbirds will appreciate this California native, especially in the dead of winter. A shrub species from the coastal foothills, this cultivar features rounded dark green leaves. But it’s those winter-blooming clusters of pink and white flowers that earn this shrub its “Dancing Tassels” nickname. Like other chaparral currants, this variety can get by with only monthly irrigation – if any – but it needs good drainage to succeed.
For more on “Garden Gems,” click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.