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Wild Black Currant

Ribes americanum

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Wild Black Currant (Ribes americanum) at Connon Nurseries

Wild Black Currant flowers

Wild Black Currant flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  3 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  3a


A low to medium-sized hedge or screening plant, densely branched with full green leaves to the ground, makes a lovely hedge, takes pruning extremely well, tough and adaptable; smallish white flowers in spring and fruit in late summer; Great for preserves

Ornamental Features

Wild Black Currant has racemes of creamy white tubular flowers with yellow throats hanging below the branches in late spring. It has green deciduous foliage. The lobed leaves do not develop any appreciable fall colour. It produces black berries in mid summer. The fruit can be messy if allowed to drop on the lawn or walkways, and may require occasional clean-up.

This plant is primarily grown as an ornamental, but it's also valued for its edible qualities. The small round mild berries are most often used in the following ways:

  • Preserves
  • Wine-Making

Landscape Attributes

Wild Black Currant is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Self-Seeding

Wild Black Currant is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Wild Black Currant will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Fruit  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features