Plants 0.7-1.5 m. Stems erect to recurving, (rooting at tips), glabrous; spines at nodes absent or sometimes 1-2, 3-11 mm; prickles on internodes absent (rarely present). Leaves: petiole 0.8-2 cm, glabrous or short-pilose; blade obovate to rotund, 3-lobed, cleft 1/2 to midrib, 1.5-5 cm, base widely cuneate to truncate, surfaces glabrous or puberulent, lobes oblong, margins with rounded teeth, apex acute. Inflorescences pendent, solitary flowers or 2-3-flowered racemes, 3-5 cm, axis glabrous or sparsely stipitate-glandular. Pedicels not jointed, 4-7 mm, glabrous; bracts ovate, 1.5-2 mm, glabrous or with few short glands. Flowers: hypanthium green, tubular-campanulate to narrowly tubular, 1.5-2.5 mm, glabrous; sepals not overlapping, reflexed, green suffused with red, oblanceolate, 3.5-5 mm; petals not connivent, erect, cream with green or reddish tint, spatulate-obovate, not conspicuously revolute or inrolled, 2-2.5 mm; nectary disc not prominent; stamens 2.5-4 times longer than petals; filaments linear, 6-8 mm, pilose; anthers cream, oblong-oval, 1 mm, apex rounded; ovary glabrous; styles connate to middle, 6-8 mm, villous in proximal 1/2. Berries palatable, pale purple, globose, 7-12 mm, glabrous. Flowering Apr-Jun. Rich woods, rocky slopes, boulderfields, heath and grassy balds; 0-2100 m; Conn., D.C., Ga., Md., Mass., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va. Ribes rotundifolium is known mainly from the Appalachian Mountains.
Nodal spines mostly short and slender, or wanting; lvs 1.5-3.5 cm long and wide, broadly obovate to rotund in outline, glabrous or minutely villosulous on both sides; peduncles glabrous, 5-10 mm, the pedicels 4-7 mm; floral bracts glabrous or sparsely glandular; ovary and fr glabrous; hypanthium subcylindric, mostly purplish or greenish-purple; sep oblanceolate, 4-5 mm; pet white, spatulate-obovate, 2-2.5 mm; stamens 6-8 mm; style 6-8 mm, bifid; fr pale purple. Rocky upland woods; Mass. and N.Y. to w. N.C. and e. Tenn. Apr., May.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.