The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Bok Tower Gardens
The conservation of Ribes echinellum is fully sponsored.
Cindy Campbell contributed to this Plant Profile.
Ribes echinellum is a spiny shrub averaging 3.5 feet in height and can form small thickets. The leaves are alternate, 3-lobed and measure 1 to 2 centimeters long. The flowers are pale green and small hanging from long stalks and usually solitary with 5 small petals and 5 sepals. The fruits are spiny and measure up to 22 millimeters in diameter. The plant sheds most of its leaves in the summer and new leaves emerge in the fall and winter. The plants reproduce from seeds and also asexually by the rooting of stem tips that make contact with the ground.
Although not in cultivation, fruits of Ribes were available in London markets (Gerarde 1597). Commonly referred to as currants, they were used as herbals (Meyer et al. 1999). Capt. John Smith made the first mention of Ribes in the New World when he noted R. oxyacanthoides in New England (Hedrick 1919). R. echinellum was first discovered in 1924 by F.W. Coville in Florida on land previously occupied by the Muskogean-speaking Chatot, who later merged with the Choctaws. Miccosukees inhabited the area after the Chatot moved west (Swanton 1946). The population here occurs on the shores of what is now called Lake Miccosukee. Coville first used the name Grossularia echinella . Grossularia is a corruption of French words of Latin origin which referred to an unripe fig. The present nomenclature was iniated in 1926 by Rehder (NatureServe 2008). Most of this genus produce edible fruits but R. echinellum is so rare, it has not been utilized in this manner.
Distribution & Occurrence
- South Carolina
Mixed hardwood or beech-magnolia forests on slopes and in bottomlands.
|2 in FL, 1 in SC (FNAI 2000). A 5-year status review will be released in the summer of 2008 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Propagation (Bok Tower Gardens), (Jones, Clemson University)
Pollination (Catling, Dumouchel, Brownell, Agriculture Canada)
Compositional and soil-site characteristics (Jones and Dunn, Clemson University) (Schultz and Hardin, FNAI)
Conduct demographic studies to determine population stability, increase, and decline.
Determine habitat management requirements for declining populations and develop
Phenological life history needs to be quantitatively described.
Seed germination requirements determined for both the Florida and South Carolina
Shade tolerance needs to be determined in order to effectively manage the species.
Reaction of the species to perturbations, such as fire or alteration of stand structure is
needed for effective management.
Develop recovery plan.
Collect seeds periodically from native populations to establish populations for study and as seed sources for reintroductions
Accession and store seed with the National Seed Storage Lab
Develop optimal propagation protocols for both seed and vegetative reproduction
Austin, D.F. 2004. Florida Ethnobotany. Boca Raton. CRC Press.
Chapin, L.G. 2000. Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Florida. Tallahassee. Florida Natural Areas Inventory.
Gerarde, J. 1633. The herball, or general historie of plants...very much enlarged and amended by Thomas Johnson. New York. Dover.
Hedrick, U.P. 1919. Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants. Albany. J.B. Lyon.
Meyer, F.G; Trueblood, E.E.; Miller, J.L. 1999. The Great Herbal of Leonhart Fuchs. De historia stirpium commentarii insignes, 1542. Stanford. Stanford University Press.