Ribes niveum
Author: Lindl.

Snow gooseberry

Grossulariaceae (currant family)

Close up of Ribes niveum by Robert L. Powell.

Close up of Ribes niveum by Robert L. Powell.
Close up of Ribes niveum by Robert L. Powell.

Ranks and Status

Global rank: G3?
State rank: S1
Federal protection status: None
State protection status: None

Description and Phenology

Ribes niveum by Annie Reiser.

General description: Spiny or occasionally unarmed shrubs. Spines 1- 3 (6) per node. Leaves reniform to broadly ovate, 3-5 lobed, glabrous or hairy. Sepals white or cream or occasionally pinkish, petals white, often with red veins. Berries yellow-green to blue-black (Ackerfield 2015).

Look Alikes: Ribes inerme has shorter, glabrous, inconspicuous stamen filaments (2-3 mm long).  Ribes niveum filaments are conspicuously exserted, hairy, and 6-9 mm long (Ackerfield 2015, Weber and Wittmann 2012).

Phenology: Flowering April-May; fruiting June-July (Colorado Natural Heritage Program 2012, Ackerfield 2015).


Habitat photo not available.

Along creeks and streams.  Associated species have not been noted in Colorado.

Elevation Range: 6,542 - 7,096 feet (1,994 - 2,163 meters)


Colorado endemic: No
Global range: Snake and Columbia rivers and major tributaries (John Day, Deschutes, Owyhee, Jarbridge and Brunneau rivers) in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and northeastern Nevada, and Humboldt River in westcentral Nevada. Disjunct in central Colorado.
State range: Known from three locations in east-central Colorado (Rocky Mountain Herbarium).
Distribution of Ribes niveum in Colorado according to mapped land ownership/management boundaries (CNHP 2015, COMaP v9).

Distribution of Ribes niveum in Colorado.

Threats and Management Issues

Management and protection issues have not been identified for this species in Colorado.


    • Ackerfield, J. 2015. Flora of Colorado. Brit Press, Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth, TX. 818 pp.
    • Beardsley, M. and D. A. Steingraeber. 2013. Population dynamics, rarity and risk of extirpation for populations of Mimulus gemmiparus (budding monkeyflower) on National Forests of Colorado. A research report submitted to the USFS Forest Service. Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forets and Pawnee National Grassland. pp 17. Accessed online on May 11 at: http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/Rare_Plants/profiles/Critically_Imperiled/mimulus_gemmiparus/ documents/USFS_MimulusStatusReport2013.pdf
    • Chumley T. and R. L. Hartman. 1997. Report on a General Floristic Survey of the Vascular Plants of East-central Colorado. Rocky Mountain Herbarium, University of Wyoming, Laramie.
    • Flora of North America Editorial Committee, ed. (FNA). 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Oxford Univ. Press, New York, Oxford.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Eastern Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 555 pp.

Last Updated