Currants

(Ribes) Deciduous. Zones 3-5.

Currant is a beautiful edible ornamental. It boasts a nice, compact shape, lovely blooms and foliage, and delightful cascading clusters of fruit in a range of colours - pink, red, white, or even a dramatic black. Currant is native to North America and grows easily here without much fuss.

When in bloom in early Spring, the small, simple flowers grouped together have a lacy texture. Currant leaves and flowers range in colour in different cultivars - black currant has pale green leaves and blush pink flowers while red currant has deep blue-green leaves and green flowers. At about 5 feet, Currant is as high as it is wide.

Currant fruit is antioxidant-rich and has a higher vitamin C content than any other fruit, including oranges! Only elderberry has higher iron and protein content. Black currants are especially flavourful and commonly used for juice, jelly, pies, and other desserts. Red currents make a beautiful vibrant crimson jelly.

Currant grows best in moist but well-drained clay loam. In sandy soil, it is happiest with lots of mulch and regular watering. It thrives in sunny locations, but can also grow well in the high shade of a fruit tree, such as a persimmon. Pruning is important, and shoots older than 3 years should be removed to keep the delicious fruit coming!


Currant also provides tremendous value to a variety of wildlife, as an abundant food source and nesting habitat. Overall, Currant is beautiful and useful landscape plant that is easy to grow.