Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Wax currant
K’ínijiłahí

Bright pink, tubular flowers growing downward from a twig. Foliage somewhat crinkled.

Wax currant occurs on dry, open slopes, ridges, rock outcrops, and mountain shrub communities, as well as at forest edges or in coniferous forests with light canopy cover. In addition, it occurs in the Bebb willow (Salix bebbiana) community type in the northwestern third of New Mexico. It is found at elevations of 4,950 to 13,200 feet.

Wax currant provides food and cover for wildlife. It is only fair to poor browse for deer, but it is important on ranges where little else is available.

Chickadees and other birds consume the fruit of wax currant. The fruit of wax currant is used for making jam, jelly, or pie. Some western Indian tribes used currants for making pemmican.

Wax currant is cultivated as an ornamental. It grows from 1 1/2 to 5 feet tall. Wax currant reproduces mainly by seed.

Close-up of bright pink tubular flowers with five small sepals (that look like the petals) at the tip. Flower is very slightly fuzzy.
Foliage, which is bright green and slightly crinkly.
A bud and a flower in bloom. These showcase a lighter flower color variation: yellowing with purple highlights toward the tips of the flowers.
Brushy growth habit with many branches and plentiful foliage.
Foliage, which is bright green and slightly crinkly. Stem is reddish.
Bright red, globular, shiny fruits with vestiges of the flowers at the bottoms
Bright red fruits and foliage
A white flower in bloom with buds and foliage
Example of lighter pink flowers beside palmately divided leaves with serrate margins
Example of lighter pink flowers beside palmately divided leaves with serrate margins

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