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Ribes mescalerium
(Mescalero black currant)

[taxon report][distribution map][all photos][line drawing]



Family: Grossulariaceae

Scientific Name: Ribes mescalerium Coville

Synonyms: None

Vernacular Name: Mescalero black currant

R-E-D Code: 1-1-2

Description: Erect shrub to 2.0 m tall; stems erect or ascending, unarmed, the twigs glandular-pubescent; leaves reniform to orbicular, shallowly 3- to 5-lobed, margins crenate-dentate, base cordate to cuneate, both surfaces glandular-pubescent; hypanthium about 2 times or less as long as wide, 3.0-4.0 mm long, greenish-white, anthers with a conspicuous cup-shaped apical gland; berries black, globose and glandular-pubescent. Flowers May to August.

Similar Species: Ribes cereum has reddish, glabrous berries. Its hypanthia are usually 3 times longer than wide.


Distribution: New Mexico, Lincoln and Otero counties, Sacramento and Guadalupe mountains; adjacent Texas, Culberson County.

Habitat: Dry slopes in open montane coniferous forests; 2,100-2,700 m (7,000-9,000 ft).

Remarks: Populations are widely scattered in the mountains of south-central New Mexico and adjacent Texas.

Conservation Considerations: Field work is needed to determine the distribution and abundance of this plant. The effects of logging and forest fires on this species have not been studied.

Important Literature (*Illustration):

Carter, J.L. 1997. Trees and shrubs of New Mexico. Johnson Books, Boulder, Colorado.

Correll, D.S. and M.C. Johnston. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Texas Research Foundation, Renner, Texas.

Powell, A.M. 1988. Trees and shrubs of Trans-Pecos Texas. Big Bend Natural History Association, Alpine, Texas.

*Vines, R.A. 1960. Trees, shrubs and woody vines of the Southwest. University of Texas Press, Austin.

Information Compiled By: Jack Carter, 1999

Agency Status:
Taxon USFWS State of NM USFS BLM Navajo Nation Natural Heritage NM Global Rank
Ribes mescaleriumSoCSoC...S4?G4?


Photo credits in header Peniocereus greggii var. greggii © T. Todsen,
Lepidospartum burgessii © M. Howard, Argemone pleiacantha ssp. pinnatisecta © R. Sivinski
©2005 New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council