Ribes speciosum (fuchsia flowered currant)

 


Terrace outside meditteranean house

This exotic looking currant could be mistaken for a scarlet fuchsia but look closer at the foliage and the thorns and you won’t be surprised when you hear one of its common names is fuschsia-flowered gooseberry! Discovered in California at the end of the 18th century, it arrived here in 1828 on HMS Blossom, brought back by a Mr Collie who was a surgeon as well as a naturalist. In its native California it is visited by hummingbirds. Fan trained against a warm, preferably light coloured, wall it will display the stunning flowers to best effect. Pruning out older wood after flowering and tying in the new basal growths in the spring will keep the plant within bounds. Grow in moderately fertile, well drained soil in full sun.