Bull. Calif. Acad. Sci. 1: 83. 1885 ,.
Plants 0.5–2 m. Stems spreading, (densely and intricately branched), glabrous or copiously pubescent when young; spines at nodes 1–3, 5–20 mm; prickles on internodes absent. Leaves: petiole 0.2–1.5(–3.3) cm, pilose and glandular or stipitate-glandular; blade nearly orbiculate to cordate or reniform, 3–5-lobed, cleft 1/3–1/2(–3/4) to midrib, 0.5–2 cm, base broadly truncate to cordate, surfaces glabrous or finely pubescent and slightly glandular-puberulent, lobes cuneate, margins entire or 2–3-toothed, apex rounded. Inflorescences spreading, solitary flowers or 2(–3)-flowered racemes, 0.5–1 cm (much shorter than leaves), axis pubescent, flowers evenly spaced. Pedicels not jointed, 1–3(–4) mm, glabrous, pubescent, or glandular-pubescent; bracts lanceolate-ovate, 1–2 mm, pubescent. Flowers: hypanthium whitish or yellowish, sometimes pink tinged, tubular to slightly campanulate, 1–2.5(–2.8) mm, glabrous, pubescent, or stipitate-glandular and pubescent abaxially, glabrous adaxially, becoming indurate; sepals not overlapping, spreading to nearly erect, yellow to pinkish, oblong, 1–2 mm; petals nearly connivent, erect, white or yellowish, elliptic-oblanceolate or oblong-obovate to spatulate, not conspicuously revolute or inrolled, 1.5–2.5 mm; nectary disc greenish or cream, raised, roundish, covering much of ovary; stamens nearly as long as petals; filaments linear, 0.6–1.1 mm, glabrous; anthers pale yellow to light violet, oval, 0.5–1.2 mm, apex blunt or with punctate notch; ovary usually densely crisped-puberulent and stipitate-glandular, rarely glabrous; styles completely connate, 3 mm, glabrous or finely pubescent. Berries palatable, yellow, becoming purple or dark reddish, globose, 4–9.5 mm, glabrous, sparsely to densely pubescent, or sparsely to densely stipitate-glandular pubescent.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–Jun.
Habitat: Sagebrush scrub, pinyon-juniper woodland, yellow pine forests
Elevation: 300-3500 m
Ariz., Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Oreg., Utah, Wash.
The leaves of Ribes velutinum are thick and leathery.