Ben Sarek and Ben Hope
Ben series of black currants from the Mylnefield Research Station in Scotland, estimated to account for 50% of global production.
Currants only fruit on wood produced the previous year.
After planting, cut the shoots down to leave about 2 buds above ground level. This will encourage a strong root system to develop. Do not cut away any shoots the following winter.
In the third or fourth winter, cut some of the old wood out of the bush and any crossing or crowded shoots, to make room for new shoots the following year. As a general rule, it is best to cut out a third of the old wood each year, making the cut as close to the soil level as possible.
Red, White, and Pink Currants are self-pollinating.
Keep the bushes well watered especially the first year, and mulching is beneficial.
Supposedly... gooseberries like a feeding of 25-ppm phosphorous, calcium nitrate just before flower, after flower, and 4 weeks later, 200 ppm magnesium, 80 ppm postassium (K-Mag is a good product), late August OK to apply
Omri listed (organic) INSECTICIDE / NEMATICIDE good for leaf hoppers
Chernaya Lisovenko autumn transplants
We don't have a video yet of harvesting currants or gooseberries with our ATRAX harvester, but the shake and drop method works well on them as it does with haskap/honeyberries, as long as you let the fruit ripen long enough so that it can be shaken off.
3 c raspberries
1 c black currants
3/4 c sugar
3 T butter
1 tsp b. powder
1 c flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 c milk
1 c sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/2 c boiling water
Spread berries into 9x2 pan. Cream together 3/4 c sugar, butter, baking powder, flour, and salt. Mix milk into dry ingredients. Spread batter on top of berries. Combine 1 c sugar and cornstarch. Sprinkle over batter. Pour 1/2 c boiling water over mixture, don’t stir. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. You can use any fruit in this recipe. Rhubarb also does well but for less tart fruits you may want to cut down on sugar. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.
Black currant jam (Danish cook says it's the best method )
1000 grams of fully ripe black currants, washed and free of any ribs or leaves.
100 ml water
2 Tbs lemon juice
650 g sugar
Heat black currants, water and lemon juice, very slowly in a big sauté pan under lid, until the berries start to juicy. Boil very low for 5 minutes. Stir the sugar in and bring it to a hard boil. Remove from heat. Poor quickly into warm clean jars and seal the jars.
This portion gives approximately 8 8oz jars.
It might take a few days before the jam has gelled completely.
The charm of this method is, that the jam is soft and the berries are not hard.
Danish cook says, "I always use a French confiture pan of solid uncoated copper for all jam making. It has slanted sides. The heat very evenly distributed and the jam never gets overheated along the sides. I use a round pizza pan as a lid."
Please view state restrictions if you live in Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia or West Virginia.
White Pine Blister Rust (WBPR) information:APS Journal 2015
Forest Pathology 2010.
If you are not allowed to grow currants in your state, we encourage you to try HONEYBERRIES! They grow into a bush similar to currants, but are juicier and have thinner skins and smaller seeds with an explosive wonderful flavor!
All Ribes varieties listed below typically grow 3-6' tall. Plants below are usually shipped bare root or "plugs" - i.e. 2.5" - 3" wide/deep in a peat "plug", which transplants very nicely.
Some plants we grow ourselves, others we bring in from other propagators. Most plants are over around 1' tall, some more, some may be less. All varieties on this page may be combined for quantity discounts on the drop-down list. Please Contact us for wholesale pricing for quantities not listed.
Black currants are generally self-sterile so need a second black currant to produce. Red, white and pink do not need a companion but will generally produce more with a companion with which to cross pollinate. U Kentucky
We pick for you
Belorusskaya, (Belaruskaja) a Russian variety, on the sweeter side, very nice for people not accustomed to the typical strong black currant flavor. Disease resistant but one of our customers verifies it got WPBR.
Early ripening cultivar good for the fresh market with high yield and large berries. It forms a small, compact bush of medium vigour and would be suitable for the grower looking for high yield per unit area. Easy to manage and harvest. Not recommended for juice. The plant is distinctively shorter than most other black currants – about 3 feet high. Consequently the sturdy canes remain more upright even without trellis and with the extra heavy load they normally bear. While Ben Sarek has some of the largest berries of any black currants, the clusters are short and hang close to the canes. This last characteristic slows picking down a trifle, but their size and flavor make up for that. The berries have good flavor and tend to have a tough skin, the place where flavor and nutrients normally concentrate. The yield tends to be high and the crop tends to mature more uniformly than others, providing a concentrated harvest time. The plant is powdery mildew resistant. Ben Sarek was developed by the Scottish Crop Research Institute, where all the “Ben” series of black currants have been developed.
A medium-late ripening selection from Europe, this black currant is a vigorous grower with colorful auburn leaves in the fall. Has a slightly "fruitier" taste than the Ben series. Chernaya Lisavenko is a tasty and productive Russian black currant cultivar released by the Gardening Research Institute of Siberia in 1985. It was secured from the University of Minnesota in the late 1980s. Russians, Ukrainians, Polish and other eastern and northern Europeans love the berry for its authentic flavor. The plants are upright, vigorous, disease resistant and productive. The medium sized berries are suitable for all purposes.
Consort - a disease resistant parent of Titania.
Released in 1948. Origin: Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
These cultivars are known in North America and Europe for their resistance to white pine blister rust. Their gene for resistance comes from R. usuriense Jancz. Each of these cultivars demonstrated similar disease resistance qualities under Corvallis conditions. They ripened early, had a moderate yield, and small fruits (0.69 to 0.75 g/berry). All three were harvested on 29 June 1995. The plants were infected with gray mold, mildew, and leaf spot. No infection of white pine blister rust was observed on any of these plants. These cultivars are recommended where commercial plantings of R. nigrum cultivars are desired but where the pressure of white pine blister rust is high. Their yield and fruit quality do not attain European standards.
Coronet is WPBR resistant, with somewhat bitter berries but good for processing.
Crandall Clove CurrantRibes odoratum Native to North America. Our propagator reports: "This is not (like a European) black currant except in color. It ripens much later, is
sweeter without the black currant muskiness. The yellow flowers in spring are spicy sweet and the bush is large (5′-6′) and open and has lovely fall color. Additional info from one of my customers: The Crandall selection was from a wild stand of ribes odoratum found by a farmer west of Newton, KS in 1888. He developed the strain, which had extra sweetness and larger berry size. The original stand is gone now and I don’t remember who sent me my original plant thirty years ago, but I got a better strain from Colorado about 20 years ago. Some Crandalls bear better than others and because they are hard to root, I suspect that some nurseries are selling seedlings." For more info see Missouri Botanical Garden Our variety is tentatively cold hardy at least down to zone 3.
Minaj Smyriou/Minaj Shmyrev/Minaj Smyreu is from Bulgaria. An early ripener, its mild flavor and thin skin may be more appealing to some people than stronger flavored varieties. It is very productive and vigorous, requiring extra pruning. Resistant to White Pine Blister Rust.
Risager is another personal favorite of the propagator for fresh eating. WBPR resistant.
Otelo has an upright growth habit, late ripening, good fruit quality with firm berries. Originated in Slovakia. More infoMKSZN info
Titania is a vigorous Swedish variety developed in the 1980s, a child of Consort black currant. Avg. height 40" (103 cm) width 34" (87 cm) fruit size 81 g Flowers/truss 5.6 (inspection.gc.ca) resistant to White Pine Blister Rust and powdery mildew except "now the Cr gene for rust resistance has been broken in the North Eastern US. They have strains of rust that we do not have in the west. The cultivars 'Consort' 'Crusader' and 'Titania' are susceptible to rust in the Northeast." apsjournals 17 Aug 2015
Mid-late season Rovada produces heavy crops of large translucent berries born in long clusters. It can be eaten fresh or processed into sparkling red jams or jellies. Sweet-tart flavor. Not as tart as Red Lake but tarter than some other varieties. Very reliable, as it is late to flower, avoiding frosts. This enables growers to extend the harvest season for a month or longer if the weather is moderate and not too hot. Rovada was developed in the Netherlands by L. M. Wassernaar and released in 1980. While many sources say it is resistant to powdery mildew, the U of Kentucky says otherwise regarding WPBR or powdery mildew.
"Mid-season selection from Slovakia. Plants are very large, robust, and upright. Fruit are large and produced on very long strigs, often with as many as 25 to 30 berries per strig. Very high yielding. Good resistance to gray mold. Should be planted on at least five-foot row centers." (source: Virginia Cooperative Extension) Sweet berry with minimal tartness.
Jonkheer van Tets
Very early ripening, JVT is vigorous, very productive, disease resistant, easy to harvest, and has attractive berries of excellent flavor. Midsize berries. Hardy, upright easy-picking bush. WPBR restitant, not powdery mildew resistant. JVT was released by J. Maarse, Netherlands, 1941. After more than 70 years, this early season variety continues to be the leading variety in Northern Europe and is fast catching on in the USA even though it has been reported to not perform as well in real wet climates or with continuous rains during harvest.
Red Lake "Mid- to late-season. Fruit are large, firm, light red, and sub-acid. Has high juice content and easy-to-pick long strigs. Plants are productive, upright, dense, and hardy. Susceptible to mildew. Has a low tolerance to frost. (source: Virginia Cooperative Extension) Our tartest variety. More info
A cross between Jonkheer Van Tets and Rosetta from the Netherlands, Rolan is a great producer, growing 3-5' tall with dense foliage. Excellent berries for fresh eating or preserves.
Ribes rubrum Mid-season. Pinkish white berries are medium sized, sweet, juicy, and rich-flavored. Resistant to powdery mildew, not resistant to WPBR.
From ARS Corvallis:
"R. rubrum L. cv. White Imperial RIB 120.001
Synonyms: Imperatorskaja Belaja
Origin: S. Willard from Geneva, New York named this cultivar about 1890.
This cultivar ripened mid-season and was moderately-high yielding. The fruit (0.59 g/berry) was harvested on 7 July 1995. The plant was resistant to gray mold and mildew and was slightly infected with leaf spot. This cultivar is recommended for u-pick and commercial production."
From ARS Corvallis: "R. rubrum L. cv. White Currant 1301 RIB 226.001
Origin: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Kristianstad, Sweden.
This cultivar ripened late, was the highest yield of evaluated white currants. The fruit was mid-size (0.62 g/berry) and was harvested on 11 July 1995. The plant was resistant to mildew and leaf spot and slightly infected with gray mold. This cultivar is recommended for u-pick and commercial planting."
Ribes rubrum Translucent white fruit with a sweet, intense flavor. The attractive plant is upright, vigorous, and produces good yields of high quality, flavorful berries. Primus is a very attractive plant as its leaves have a distinctive red tinge and young shoots are almost entirely red. Primus is a late-season white currant variety that was bred by J. Cvopa at Bojnice, Slovakia, and released in 1977. It has the same Minnesota connection that Tatran and Blanka do, having Red Lake as one of its parents. Resistant to White Pine Blister Rust and powdery mildew.
White Pearl White Currant
Ribes rubrum These currants produce heavy clusters of white, translucent berries with a pink blush. Deliicious in jams or jellies, they can also be eaten fresh.
Ribes hirtellum "Cross of American and European cultivars and is resistant to powdery mildew. It has
antique red teardrop-shaped fruit and is nearly thornless. It a late season variety with great flavor..." Source: Cornell Ribes Culture Review.
Somewhat susceptible to Anthracnose leaf spot but "regular sprays of Cueva (copper soap) with Double Nickel (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens) significantly reduced disease."
Ribes oxycanthoides 4-5' tall, upright growth. "Disease resistant and produces high quality, dark red, dessert gooseberries. This plant was selected by Dr. Otto L. Jahn from a native population of the species growing in Alberta, Canada, in 1984. The species is native in the northern prairies of the U.S. and Canada. Cuttings were propagated, grown and field evaluated as RIB 139 from 1991 to the present. The cultivar is named in memory of Dr. Jahn, who was the first curator for the National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Covallis, Oregon." Source: USDA Ag Research Service
Jeanne is a disease and pest resistant, high quality, dark-red, dessert gooseberry cultivar. It is a late-ripening, dark red dessert gooseberry with an unknown mixed European/American gooseberry pedigree. JEANNE should be suitable for commercial gooseberry production or home plantings. The yield of JEANNE is higher than from most gooseberries, with production of about 1.5 kg/3+ lbs per plant. The leaves are highly resistant to powdery mildew. Even more in its favor, the leaves of JEANNE are also highly resistant to white pine blister rust. They have very few pesky spines. More info at USDA Ag Research
Very vigorous, sprawling habit, good flavor, high yield.
Grower feedback rates it as one of the best, especially for those looking for a sweet gooseberry. Developed in Utah from an American x European cross, released in 1888. Early to mid season, the 3/4 - 1' long oblong shaped fruits turn pink/red when ripe. Vigorous, high yielding, almost thornless, plants reach 3-4' height. Hardiness Zones 4-10 but we will be trialing it here in zone 3 and usually do best in zone 7 and lower. Missouri Botanical Garden info and YouTube. tanyasgarden.blogspot.com
Black currant x R. divaricatum
Very vigorous. Grows 5-8' tall and 4-5' wide. Cross between a gooseberry and black currant, high in Vitamin C. Disease resistant shrub, easy to grow. Produces delicious large, dark colored, sweet-tart fruit for fresh eating and processing, but takes a few years to produce and may not yield as high as currants or gooseberries. Pruning recommended.
Very productive, vigorous bush producing medium-sized, almost black berries, with good disease resistance.
A black currant/gooseberry cross (jostaberry) but has some small thorns garden.org) "ORUS refers to the USDA-ARS small fruits breeding program (so the "US" part) located in Oregon (obviously, the "OR" part)" (houzz discussion)