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Audubon® Golden Currant
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Smells like spring! Clove Currant ushers in the spring season with a bevy of yellow blossoms that give off a powerful, spicy-sweet clove fragrance. Every year, you’ll look forward to the moment when you get that first delicious whiff. In summer, birds will look forward to the black fruits that form on female plants. Cedar Waxwings, robins, catbirds, and Brown Thrashers are some of the many songbirds that relish the juicy berries. Drawn by the thickety growth and ready supply of food, some songbirds may even choose to nest in Clove Currant and raise a family.
May Benefit & Attract: Waxwings, thrushes, and thrashers
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-8
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Clove Currant is also known as Golden Currant, for its brilliant yellow flowers, and as Buffalo Currant, for its native range. It originally grew only on the Great Plains, though humans have helped it naturalize to other states. Currants are not as common as they once were, due to an unfortunate story. In the 1920s and ’30s, thousands of Currants and Gooseberries were destroyed because they were found to be an alternate host for White Pine blister rust, a devastating imported fungal disease that kills Pine Trees. Clove Currant is not as vulnerable to the disease as the more popular European Black Currant, but it is susceptible.
If the birds leave you any fruits, you may want to eat them yourself! Clove Currant berries are tart, but they are very nutritious and are high in vitamins and antioxidants. You can eat them fresh or bake them into pies, tarts, and jellies. This species is thornless, so picking is pain-free.
How to Grow
Native to the Great Plains, Clove Currant is well adapted to sunny, dry conditions. It is tough and dependable, and quite drought-tolerant once established. This is a naturally suckering plant, so put it in a place where it won’t encroach on other plants. This is also a dioecious plant, which means that male and female flowers appear on separate plants. Only female Clove Currants will bear fruit, and only if a male partner is nearby to pollinate it. Check with your local extension service about the prevalence of White Pine blister rust in your area before planting. Currant plants are banned in some states.
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