Habit: this strongly fragrant currant usually grows along the ground, but can be found climbing over other vegetation and growing to 15 ft (5m) or more in deep woods. The dark reddish-brown branches are thornless with glossy, smooth, maple like leaves having five lobes and coarsely toothed margins. The inflorescence is a spike, held upright above the plant and comprised of up to 8 small, hairy saucer shaped red flowers. The fruit is a purplish-black berry with a waxy coating and with an undesirable smell and taste. Flowers April through May.
Ecology: found in wet coastal forests, mountain slopes, and disturbed areas from Southern Alaska along the Pacific Coast to Northern California as well as inland in the Rocky Mountains up to 6500 ft (2000 m).
Growing Conditions: full sun to full shade, in moist to wet soil.
Often sets roots from the woody stems and can spread vigorously. Berries are favorites among birds.