528 PB 522 WILD RIBES OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

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  • 1 Botany Dept., Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
  • 2 USDA-ARS National Plant Germ Plasm Repository, 33447 Peoria Road, Corvallis OR 97333

The Pacific Northwest boasts a remarkable diversity of wild currants and gooseberries (Ribes). Of nearly 150 species worldwide, 34 occur in the region. All but two infrageneric taxa are represented, including close relatives of the black currants, red currants, and cultivated gooseberries. High ecological diversity parallels this taxonomic diversity: a Ribes species occurs in nearly every terrestrial habitat, from sea level to above treeline, and from swamp to desert. This diversity is a valuable source of agronomically important genes for the plant breeder. In addition, wild Ribes represent a relatively unexplored source of ornamental shrubs. Habit and habitat of a number of species of interest are described and illustrated. An annotated list of species, subspecies, and varieties native to the Pacific Northwest is presented with discussion of taxonomic proximity to Cultivated varieties, range, natural habitat, and ornamental potential.

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