Home Plant Catalog Ribes viburnifolium
Ribes viburnifolium
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Ribes viburnifolium

Evergreen Currant, Catalina Perfume


Low evergreen shrub, shiny dark green leaves, attractive, aromatic, good under oaks


  • Genus: Ribes
  • Epithet: viburnifolium
  • Class: Evergreen
  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Region: southern
  • Location: islands
  • Elevation: bluffs, canyons, below 1000’
  • Plant Community: coastal sage scrub

Sun / Shade

  • Full Sun: No
  • Part Shade: Yes
  • Full Shade: Yes

Summer Water

  • Naturalize: No
  • H2O 1xmonth (summer): Yes
  • H2O 2xmonth (summer): Yes
  • H2O 4xmonth (summer): No
  • Moist: No


  • Flower Colors / Desc.: Red
  • Flowering Season: Spring
  • Hardy to 15 degrees: Hardy to 15°F
  • Height: 3-4
  • Spread: 6
  • Pruning Period:
    Prune taller stems to promote denser growth; otherwise, little pruning is necessary.
  • Planting Suggestion:
    Perennial Beds and Borders, Ground Cover to 3'
  • TOLN Zones: 1, 2, 3

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Ribes viburnifolium makes an attractive evergreen shrub growing 2-3 feet tall with a 6-foot spread, but can be controlled in smaller spaces. It is native to Santa Catalina and San Clemente Island and northern coastal Baja California where it grows in shade to part shade. The leaves of this Ribes are a glossy dark green on thornless wine red stems that arch from the center of the plant. After rain, you can usually smell the spicy scent of the Ribes viburnifolium and you will know why this plant is sometimes referred to as Catalina Perfume. In the late winter Ribes viburnifolium blooms with profuse but small burgundy colored flowers that last until spring. It can be grown in full sun near the coast but requires filtered or morning sun in the warmer inland valleys. Drought tolerant once established, Ribes viburnifolium is the ideal plant under Oaks and Sycamores as it is one of the few plants that does well in dry shade. It can also tolerate moister soils and can be useful as a bank planting for erosion control. Little shaping is necessary, but you can prune at the tips to promote denser foliage. This plant looks great all year long and works well accompanied with Iris douglasii and Heuchera maxima. The shiny green leaves make Catalina Perfume a good, authentic, drought tolerant substitute for Star Jasmine.

Oak Woodland Plants
Aquilegia formosa, Red Columbine Eriogonum fasciculatum, Buckwheat Fragaria californica, Woodland Strawberry Galvezia‘Firecracker’, Firecracker Bush Snapdragon Heteromeles arbutifolia, Toyon Heuchera maxima, Giant Alum Root Iris douglasiana, Douglas Iris Leymus triticoides, Creeping Wildrye Lotus scoparius, Deer Weed Mahonia repens, Creeping Mahonia Opuntia littoralis, Coastal Prickly Pear Philadelphus lewisii, Mock Orange Rhamnus californica, California Coffeeberry Ribes speciosum, Fuschia Flowering Gooseberry Ribes viburnifolium, Evergreen Currant Rosa californica, California Wild Rose Rhus integrifolia, Lemonadeberry Salvia spathacea, Hummingbird Sage Sambucus mexicana, Mexican Elderberry Satureja douglasii, Yerba Buena Solidago californica, California Goldenrod Symphoricarpos mollis, Creeping Snowberry

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