Description from Flora of China
Shrubs 1-2 m tall. Branchlets glabrous, unarmed. Buds purplish brown, ovoid to oblong, 3-5 mm, glabrous or puberulent at scale margins, apex acute. Petiole red, 3-5 cm, glabrous or minutely pubescent, sparsely glandular hairy or tuberculate near base; leaf blade ovate to suborbicular, 5-10 × 6-10 cm, sparsely glandular hairy or tuberculate on both surfaces, with or without eglandular hairs, base cordate; lobes 3-5, ovate-triangular, margin roughly sharply doubly serrate, also with some simple teeth, apex acute to shortly acuminate; terminal lobe slightly longer than lateral ones. Racemes dense, (2.5-)5-10 cm, 8-20-flowered; rachis and pedicels pubescent or sparsely stalked glandular; bracts ovate, rarely oblong to sublanceolate, 1-2 mm or slightly longer, puberulent. Flowers bisexual, 4-6 mm in diam.; pedicel 1.5-3 mm. Calyx green tinged purple or purplish red, glabrous or puberulent; tube campanulate, 1.5-2 mm; lobes erect, obovate-spatulate to suborbicular, 2-3.5 mm, margin ciliate. Petals red or green tinged purplish, subspatulate to flabellate, 1-1.7 mm, margin ciliate. Stamens inserted level with petals and subequaling them. Ovary glabrous. Style subequaling stamens, apex 2-lobed. Fruit red, turning purplish black after maturity, globose, 0.6-0.7 cm, glabrous. Fl. Apr-Jun, fr. Jul-Aug.
Five varieties may be recognized in China. Ribes himalense var. salwinense J. Anthony (Notes Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 18: 24. 1933), recorded from SE Xizang, NW Yunnan, and N Myanmar, might represent a sixth variety. In the protologue, it was said to differ from var. himalense in having leaf blades hairy on both surfaces; however two of the three cited specimens, Forrest 14957 and Forrest 14985 (both at E), are densely hairy only abaxially, while the third, Forrest 24913 (E), seems no hairier than var. himalense.
Mixed, coniferous, or broad-leaved forests and forest margins, thickets on mountain slopes, river banks, or in ravines, grasslands on mountain slopes, mountain valleys, stream banks, roadsides; 1200-4100 m. Gansu, Hebei, NW Henan, W Hubei, Nei Mongol, SE Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, NW Yunnan [Bhutan, Kashmir, Nepal, Sikkim].