Currant question

just went on eBay and bought a alpine redcurant and a perfection redcurrant to put in between my clove and golden currants. just realized the alpine, if female needs a male plant . perfection is self pollinating . both of these plants are from europe / asia. would the perfection pollinate the alpine?

Yeah I don’t know? Different species, which will sometimes cross. I heard the alpine berry is rather tasteless. The plant is mostly used as a hedge.
Perfection red currant is actually an American heirloom. Origin is attributed to Charles Hooker, Rochester NY, 1887. I like heirloom plants, so i added one. It’s in a bad spot hard to compare to others. i must say the cultivars vary a lot. Some are more seedy than others. Some grow longer strigs etc.

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if they arent that great ill either mix them w/ something or leave for the birds. which redcurrant cultivar do you feel tastes the best?

Alpine currants more nearly remind me of gooseberries…they won’t win taste tests…but not bad either.
I’ve used them for landscaping.

So many exist, i can’t really say. I have 4 or 5 different reds. I guess out of currants the pink ones taste the best to me. Two cultivars of pink are out there. Mine got mixed up, but they taste about the same. Nourse sells one as pink and it is not. It’s a white. Many new reds came out the last few years, or became available here. So far I like Rovada, Jonkheer Van Tets. these two are big, easy to pick, ripen at different times. Laxton’s No 1 I like too, but harder to pick…Many I have not tried like Rolam, Heros,Rosetta, Redstart, and Tatran. many I have eliminated, but looking at these for future trials.

I would have to disagree with Blueberry, many types of gooseberries are out there and some are better than currants. Any color. Black currants are unique, and those too, vary a lot. Gooseberries have a huge range of flavors, they can taste completely different from one another. I like them a lot. I don’t want ton’s of them, but a basic red, and yellow are essential. Black Velvet I like processed, super good that way. The best fruit leather I made last year. I didn’t like them that well fresh.

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I’m looking to maybe get some currants for next year. The ones I’m interested in need to be good for fresh eating, and to a lesser degree, jams/preserves.

I did some browsing of various sites, and think these varieties sound good. Anyone like to comment on these? Any other variety suggestions would be appreciated.

Jonkheer Van Tets, Rovada

Imperial, Primus

Pink Champagne

Any black currant recommendations that are good fresh would be appreciated.

Is the flavor of currants similar to gooseberries? Do they do better in full sun or partial sun? Do they usually produce by the second year? And, which site would recommend? Indiana Berry has all these varieties, and Nourse has some, but any others come to mind?

Thanks for the replies.

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Here is a link from KSU
So should be good info for your area…

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Many good nurseries carry them. They do well with some shade. I find it takes three years for decent production. Depends how big a plant you get. To me gooseberries are better. The flavor is a red berry-like flavor although one dimensional, no depth. The pink is about the best for fresh eating. The reds are very tart. The whites are very tart too. All cultivars mentioned are some of the best ones. Some new ones around too that have potential.
No currants are very good fresh in my opinion. I like to make syrups, rather low sugar ones and use them to flavor my water. I love them like that. I already consumed all my reds, pinks and whites. I need to add more. The strong flavor comes through well. Milder flavored fruit taste too weak in cordials. Black currants too are fantastic in cordials.
Also these currants love cool weather, i would shade them from 12-4 pm if possible? They might not do well in your area? They are a northern plant for sure. We had a very cold spring and all my currants grew like crazy! They loved it.

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Thanks, I think I have seen that presentation from KSU. They also have a very good paw paw program.

Are currants and gooseberries still illegal in WV? I noticed that some of these vendors won’t ship there (and other states) because of white blister pine rust.

Thanks. I have three gooseberries, I planted them in partial shade the same year (17). The plants have varied widely in growth, tho.

I don’t think it’s too hot for them here, but prob shouldn’t have them exposed to mid day sun. The gooseberries aren’t, and are still alive.

My gooseberries we’ve have harvested tasted like a tart small grape, not really flavorful, but it may still be too early to get a good crop yet.

Yes, I don’t much care for them fresh either. Processed they are excellent. One key is to feed well. amend soil with compost. Top coat with compost th following years. They like rich soil. I put shredded leaves around them and cover with compost. Keep roots well mulched if possible.
Taste can vary with gooseberries. Some years they are very sweet others not so much. They like cooler weather but produce tastier fruit with sun. I let them hang as long as possible. the longer they hang, the sweeter they are.
These are not strawberries, blueberries raspberries, cherries, or even blackberries. Those are the best small fruit and most other fruits are not as good else we would see them in the stores. All the same I grow these secondary fruits anyway. I find new flavors, and blends etc. It took a lot of time in the school of hard knocks to find what works here, or I can make work with a little effort. And that I cannot buy.
This year I’m adding Jujubes as nice no spray fruit trees.

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Juju’s? In Michigan?

Sure, some rated to zone 5. I’m 6a/5b

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I’ve got 4 producing jujube’s here. (I’m about 15 miles from Drew’s place)

So is my most productive. Honey Jar and R4T3 next followed by Sugar Cane. Shanxi Li has struggled and I had thought I lost it, but it looks like it has sent up a new shoot last year.


@Drew51 do you know where you plan on ordering from?

One Green World or England’s. Not sure yet? Only two places that have Honey jar and So, the two i would like to add.

Interesting. I thought juju’s needed long warm summers to produce good fruit.

Scott, are yours in the ground or in big pots?

I’m just curious, prob not going to get any myself. I’m done with any more trees.

Mine are in the ground and So, the most productive is about 2 feet from my house on the East facing side.

Mine has fruited each year for the last 5 years.

I do live in a sheltered location, about a third of a mile from a large lake (though I am North of Canada ;=)


theres a guy on here that grows Crandall clove currant in z9 reliably. not a ‘true’ black currant and is native to our midwest. i have 2 here growing in z3b/4a and they are good for fresh eating. not as productive as true black currants but have a good-sized berry with a concord grape/ gooseberry taste. got mine from whitman farms i think. last spring they were covered with flowers so much that from a distance they looked pure yellow.

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I lost my clove currants last year (one got stepped on twice and the second time it was the kiss of death) my other one needed to be moved and it never recovered.

I’ve got to order another or find a source for a few cuttings…


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hmm… they grow well here but not as fast as black currants. if mine were a little bigger id give you some cuttings. maybe in a few more years.

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