Spring has sprung!

Even though it’s only February, it’s already spring in Southern California. Green leaves and shoots are popping up all over, and the earliest flowering plants are starting to bloom.

One of the first to flower is the White-flowering Currant (Ribes indecorum), which is making a show all over the Wilderness Park just now. This large deciduous shrub of chaparral and sage scrub has lobed, wrinkled bright green leaves that are slightly sticky and clusters of small white flowers in loose, dangling clusters, which are visited by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The photo of the flowering plant above was taken last week in Johnson’s Pasture.

In late spring and summer, the White-flowering Currant has blue-purple berries, which are attractive to birds.

Berries of Ribes indecorum.
A bright green, wrinkled leaf of Ribes indecorum
The undersides of the leaves of Ribes indecorum have hairs that give them a whitish appearance.

Lots more plants will be flowering soon, so keep your eyes out! If you like looking at and photographing plants and animals in the Park, please think about posting to iNaturalist. Anything you post in the Park will be collected by our Biota of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park project.

P.S. We have no idea why the specific name is indecorum. This plant’s decorum seems fine to us!