Also known as
Red flowering currant, blood currant, winter currant and pink-flowering currant
Where is it originally from?
Western North America
What does it look like?
Deciduous shrub (1-2 m high) with broad, hairy, veined leaves (2-7cm long) divided into 3-8 lobes. Groups of 5-30 red or pink flowers (5-10mm diameter) are produced in early spring, and followed by oval, dark purple berries (1cm long).
Are there any similar species?
Alternatives: Try the native mountain wineberry (Aristotelia fruticosa) or the non-native star magnolia (Magnolia stellata 'Rosea'), both of which have similar coloured flowers to flowering currant. Your local garden centre will be able to recommend other non-weedy alternatives that will grow well in your area.
Why is it weedy?
Flowering currant forms dense stands along waterways and in shrublands, crowding out native species. It sprouts from root crowns, and stems can also take root when they touch the ground, forming new plants. Heavy seed crops occur every second or third year and 45kg of berries will yield about 1.8kg of seed (approx 500,000 seeds) that is spread by birds and small mammals.
How does it spread?
Pioneer species that sprouts from seed or root crown, especially after fire. Can also spread by layering when stems touch the ground, form roots, and develop into new plants.
What damage does it do?
Outcompetes native species in shrubland and along waterways.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Open bush areas, forest gaps, dry rocky slopes and disturbed sites from sea level up to just under 2000m. Prefers sun or partial shade.
What can I do to get rid of it?
Dig out, taking care to remove root crowns. Dispose of all plant material at a refuse transfer station.