Ribes malvaceum var viridifolium ‘Ortega Beauty’

'Ortega Beauty' chaparral currant

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Partial Shade
Drainage: Medium, Well-draining
Water: Occasional, Regular
Height X Width: 6' X 4'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



The chaparral currant grows in our coastal and interior coastal mountains from about Lake County south to the border. It also calls the Channel Islands home. It grows in sun to partial shade to a height of about six feet with a fairly open structure. The leaves are apple green and lobed. The plant overlaps with the range of Ribes sanguineum, and the two plants look very similar. The leaves provide one distinction, in that the upper surface of the leaves of R. malvaceum are covered with glandular hairs. They can be quite sticky. The chaparral currant will also be found away from water, on upper slopes in the sun. Two varieties of chaparral currant are recognized based on the leaf color. The viridifolium variety has darker green leaves as compared to those of the malvaceum variety. The viridifolium variety is more dominant south of the Transverse Ranges. The ‘Ortega Beauty’ selection was taken in the Ortega Canyon in Orange County. The combination of bright green leaves and prominent carnation pink flowers is a welcome sight in the winter. Like other currants, this selection will go dormant in the late fall but will quickly leaf out in the cold of winter.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous