Image for Wild Black Currant

Wild Black Currant

Scientific name

Ribes americanum


The Wild Black Currant is a lovely shrub species that grows 1-2 m in height and produces small, edible, black berries. Wild Black Currant is a member of the Gooseberry family and is characterized by having alternating leaves that are 3-8 cm long with 3-5 sharp lobes. This shrub has bell-shaped flower clusters that are creamy white to yellow in color, about 9 mm long, and appear in early June. These flowers give way to small edible black berries, which are best when cooked into jams, jellies, and pies. This species differs from other Currants as it has noticeable resin dots on the undersides of the leaves and branches that are slightly hairy, but not prickly. Wild Black Currant grows best in wet or moist conditions, full or partial sun exposure, and a variety of soil types. It can be naturally found in sandy swamps/marshes, meadows, open forests, and along shorelines. This species is an ideal shrub to utilize for shoreline restoration as it is aesthetically appealing and attracts wildlife, such as song birds. However, this species should not be planted in the vicinity of pine trees because it is a vector for White Pine Blister Rust, a fungus that negatively impacts White Pine trees.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 2m
    • Max 3m
    • Any
  • Moisture level:
    • Moist
    • Wet
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Clay
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Acidic
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
  • Plant type:
    • Shrub
  • Height:
    • 1-2m