Unit 28 (028)
1. Ribes or Currants and Gooseberries
They grow best in the northern United States. They can withstand temperatures as low
as -40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, but do not grow well where summer
temperatures are very hot.
The fruit are creamy, yellowish or reddish, with small veins or ridges around the fruit.
The genus Ribes is often divided into 2 subgenera:
The subgenus Grossularia includes the Gooseberries.
There are spines at the nodes, and bristles on the internodes.
Flowers are solitary or few in a cluster.
The subgenus Ribesia includes the Currants and ornamental Ribes.
The stems lack nodal spines, and internodal bristles.
Flowers are in racemes or clusters.
Ribes species are alternate hosts for the introduced White Pine Blister Rust
disease. It can kill white pines but normally doesn’t hurt Ribes. The federal law
prohibiting Ribes was repealed in 1966, but some states still have restrictions.
A rust resistant gooseberry called cv. Jahn’s Prairie has been developed.
2. Useful Books
1. Lawson-Hall, Toni, and Frian Rothera. 1995. Hydrangeas, A Gardeners Guide.
Timber Press, 133 S.W. 2nd Ave., Ste. 450, Portland OR 97204. 160 pages.