Black Currants 2017


sorry. it was yri 32 that posted it.


Yes, me too, this is what you want for processing. I would not mind having a milder form for fresh eating, maybe more would eat them? Eating these less nutritious but better tasting types is better than eating no black currants which is the present situation with most consumers at least here. i would guess Yurii is from Russia?


Dear gardeners! I own a small farm. I went to your forum accidentally to promote my site. Therefore, I certainly can not send cuttings. This is difficult from the point of view of customs and the timing of the shipment. Therefore, I can only gladly inform about the varieties of our local breeding. The Selecinskaya 2 variety is already well distributed, especially in Ukraine and the Baltics.
Now our institute is testing new sweet currant varieties Dar Smolyaninova, Nightingale Night, etc. Selection does not stand still. Therefore, if you are interested I will cover these varieties. Yours faithfully!


Yes, always interested in info. i grow many Russian tomatoes, and also honeyberries, so proper commercial nurseries will bring them over if worthwhile. It will take some time, but nice to have a heads up!


i agree. thats why i ordered the goldens. i do eat consorts off the bush but only when dead ripe. besides currants are so nutritionally dense, even if this russian cultivar isn’t , its still better than a lot of other fruits.


welcome yri! keep up the good work! hopefully we will get the fruits of your labor
over here soon. your currant sounds great!


I wonder if they meant hat the good tasting ones have 10% less of the bioactive compounds or if it is 95% less. Big difference.


The difference will be marginal. I’d rather eat tastier than healthier. Selechenskaja 2 like many other excellent varieties comes from the breeding program in Brjansk - Russia. It is currently the most popular variety of black currant in Ukraine and rightly so.


Send hardwood cuttings and I’ll evaluate it 4 u…


Inquiring minds want to know.


Anyone got Connan or other hardwood cuttings available?


No Connan from me, but I can send some others. I’ll check tomorrow, but I would guess Consort, Goliath, and Blackdown would be big enough for plenty of cuttings, while most of the others may support a small cutting or two.


How did the boskoop giant turn out. Is it a variety you would recommend?


BC info starts on page 103 for those interested…


“Ben” Varieties

The first of the “Ben” varieties bred at the Scottish Crop Research Institute was Ben Lomond, released in 1975. This variety still occupies a significant proportion of the UK acreage, and was released as a high-yielding type with delayed flowering to avoid damaging spring frosts at flowering time. This was achieved by the introduction of plant material from Northern Scandinavia into the SCRI programme, thereby combining high yield potential and consistency. The introduction of Ben Lomond into commercial blackcurrant growing was a pivotal event in the development of modern blackcurrant varieties, and for many years Ben Lomond was the leading UK variety in both acreage and performance. `Ben Lomond’ has a high winter chilling requirement, and its performance in southern parts of England may be affected after mild winters. Although resistant to mildew when released, Ben Lomond is now highly susceptible to this disease.

Released in 1989, Ben Alder offers very high levels of anthocyanins, together with a typical blackcurrant flavour. From a cross between Ben More and Ben Lomond, this variety also has a more upright habit that is more amenable to mechanical harvesting. It has fairly small berries, held close to the stems, and again has later flowering, like Ben Lomond.

The late flowering character is most obvious in the variety Ben Tirran, released in 1990. From a complex cross involving the old variety Seabrooks Black, Ben Lomond and SCRI hybrids with some redcurrant ancestry, Ben Tirran is the latest of all the Ben varieties in both flowering and ripening. It is fairly high in vitamin C, and its later ripening provides a means of extending the harvest. Yields of Ben Tirran are consistently high throughout the UK.

Ben Hope was released in 1998, because of its high yields, good flavour profile and especially because of its reduced susceptibility to gall mite (`big bud’). Estimates made in field trials at East Malling Research have shown Ben Hope to be up to 30 times more resistant to gall mite than other commonly-available varieties, making Ben Hope a valuable asset at a time when control measures for gall mite are increasingly limited. The variety derives from a complex cross, including Westra (a form of the old variety Westwick Choice, but with a very upright habit that is passed on to Ben Hope) and a hybrid with some gooseberry ancestry (from whence the relative resistance to gall mite is obtained). There are several hybrids from SCRI with complete resistance to gall mite currently in trials, but at the present time the combination of positive characteristics mean that Ben Hope is the most widely-grown variety in the UK and throughout Europe, for both large-scale commercial growing and gardens.

Ben Gairn, also released in 1998, is the only current UK variety with resistance to reversion virus, a disease which renders the plant sterile and therefore non-fruiting. The resistance is derived from a Russian variety, Golubka, which was crossed at SCRI with Ben Alder to produce Ben Gairn, and should enable the life expectancy of plants and plantations to be extended. This variety is very early in both flowering and ripening.

Ben Avon and Ben Dorain are sister seedlings from a cross between Ben Alder and Ben Lomond, giving high yields, upright growth habit and very good fruit/juice quality. Released in 2003, these varieties show differences in their local adaptation, so that Ben Dorain performed best in trials in the West Midlands and Scotland, whilst Ben Avon was better in East Anglia. The higher vitamin C content of these varieties makes them useful alternatives to Ben Alder and Ben Tirran.

In addition to varieties bred for the commercial juicing market, there are several varieties bred at SCRI for the PYO and amateur markets. For these markets, growth habit and juice quality is not as crucial as for processing, and there is a preference for large berries with sweeter flavour. The main varieties are Ben Sarek, Ben Connan and the as yet-unreleased Big Ben; the latter is currently in trials within Europe including at the Royal Horticultural Society, and has the largest and sweetest berries compared to other types. Ben Sarek and Ben Connan both have reasonable habit and high yields.

At the moment, the most widely grown and popular variety for home growing is Ben Hope.


I have 10 year old Ben Serak and Ben Lomond.


i have 4 golden currants I’m putting in this spring as well as a couple native american currants i bought from oikios. might not produce as well as commercial varieties but I’ve heard they make up for it in flavor. my 2 consorts produce enough for most of my needs.


Yes I can see that. It’s the same with red currants, I don’t need all that many 2 plants produce gallons of them. Once plants get some size they produce like crazy.
Golden currants can become large enough to produce a decent amount. Also many sub-cultivars, even yellow fruited types. So you could hit one that produces well or not! Whitman Farms mentions it’s Crandall is more productive than others she used to sell. She mentions they are hard to propagate, and suspects some nurseries grow stock from seed. If it’s hard to propagate that would be a first for a currant plant. Maybe so? My Crandall came from Rolling River. It produced some currants the first year, they were red, than turned black. red as in just like red currants, I thought I had the wrong plant for a minute. Except the leaves are small and it does not look like black currants do, or red. Easy to see it’s another species. I want to explore more of this genera, Ribes.


I received black currant cuttings today from ARS. Since I was already requesting some pear wood, I decided to ask for some currants as well, given that they are also coming from Corvalis. It turns out that even though they are coming from the same place, they send them separately. I just got the notice that the pear scions should arrive tomorrow.

PI 653051: Bagira- Received in 2000 from Russia. Minaj Smyrev x Brodtorp. Looks productive in pic.

PI 617926: Dikovinka- Received in 1999 from Russia. Zoja x Pushistaja. translation: what a surprise!

There are 3 cuttings for each variety. Two which are 11-12" long and one 6-8" for both.


Wow, very cool. Not your usual fair that’s for sure.