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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.

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

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

Information Compiled By: Jack Carter, 1999

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

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