4. Ribes odoratum H.L. Wendl. (syn.: Ribes aureum Pursh var. villosum DC.) (N-Am.) – A rare, locally naturalised but increasing garden escape. First collected in 1897 in a hedge in Fonds de Forêt, probably as a mere relic of cultivation. Introduced in the middle of the 20th century in the seadunes for hedging (for instance near Middelkerke but doubtlessly elsewhere too). Since the 1980’s found as an escape along the Belgian coast (between Oostduinkerke and Nieuwpoort, Middelkerke, Knokke). By far the largest populations are found in the nature reserve Houtsaegherduinen in De Panne (Verloove 2002, Verloove 2006). Occasionally seen on inland locations but usually in small number and/or rather ephemeral. Known for instance from an abandoned railway track in the port of Gent, in the vicinity of a plantation.
The ecological preferences of Ribes odoratum are insufficiently known. In the Belgian seadunes it often grows in sandy shrubland on calcareous soils, often along with native Hippophae rhamnoides.
In Belgium Ribes odoratum was long confused with R. aureum, another North American species. Both are in cultivation (Tebbitt 1995) but the latter has not been reported as an escape so far. Its young shoots are nearly glabrous versus distinctly hairy in Ribes odoratum (contrary to De Koning & al. 2000 and Roloff & Bärtels 2006 who obviously intermix both species). Recent American taxonomists tend to accept Ribes aureum in a broader way (Morin 2009). The taxon here concerned should then be referred to as Ribes aureum var. villosum.
De Koning J., Van den Broek J.W., Van de Laar H.J. & Fortgens G. (2000) Nederlandse dendrologie (13e druk). H. Veenman & zonen, Ede: 585 p.
Morin N.R. (2009) Ribes. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (eds.), Flora of North America, vol. 8. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford: 9-42.
Roloff A. & Bärtels A. (2006) Flora der Gehölze (2e Auflage). Ulmer, Stuttgart: 844 p.
Tebbitt M.C. (1995) Ribes. In: Cullen J. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 4. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 286-294.
Verloove F. (2002) Ingeburgerde plantensoorten in Vlaanderen. Mededeling van het Instituut voor Natuurbehoud n° 20: 227 p.
Verloove F. (2006) Catalogue of neophytes in Belgium (1800-2005). Scripta Botanica Belgica 39: 89 p.