Currants: what are the best tasting


Interestingly the white currant did not ever get mildew.


Great idea to get one of those lingonberry pickers for the currants!! THAT WAS A BIG ISSUE!


My favorite is pink champagne (from Nourse) – the only currants of ours that I enjoy sampling while picking.


I’m curious to hear about folks’ favorite currants, I don’t have any, but might try some soon.

I do have some experience growing gooseberries, we planted 4 varieties a couple years ago. Our biggest plant, an Oregon Champion, gave us a handful of berries last year. They were OK, kinda like a tart firm grape. Our Jeanne produced a couple berries, so didn’t really get a good read on those. Our Poorman is smaller, and didn’t give anything last year. I tried twice to get a Hinnomaki Red going and they never didn’t make it thru one year.

I fertilized them a couple weeks ago with Hollytone before they started to really leaf out. I think I saw a few fruit blossoms on the OC already, but the other two aren’t totally awake yet. Hopefully they’ll put on some good growth this year.


I have found that here in Arlington, VA Minaj Smyriou works pretty well for a black currant. I also grow Belaruskaja and Titania black currants and, while I like the taste of both of those better, they suffer in the heat. All of my currants get early sun until about 1pm or so and then mostly shade the rest of the day. Minaj Smyriou is actually pretty good fresh, but I really prefer the intense, musky sweet taste of the others… but they just struggle and never get as productive. I should get 1-2 quarts from Minaj this year. If anyone has another black currant that handles the heat I’d love to hear about it.

Rovada red currant does okay, although it definitely gets a little unhappy looking by the end of the summer. Fortunately, like my other currants it fruits early enough in the season that the worst of the heat issues hit after I’ve harvested.

I planted a Crandall clove currant last year and think it should do well here. It is flowering now, so hopefully I get to taste it this summer.

Gooseberries (Poorman and Hinnomaki red and yellow) generally handle the heat a little better, but I’m giving them the same afternoon shade. Poorman has had the best growth and I believe is one supposed to be better in the south, but isn’t very productive with the amount of shade it is getting. I think I’ll airlayer another poorman plant and try it in fuller sun to see if it can handle it and hopefully put out more fruit. The 2 Hinnomaki types put out a reasonable amount of fruit for their size, although the Red hasn’t grown a whole lot and I’ve seen it as a much bigger plant in colder places like upstate New York where I first saw gooseberries growing.

The biggest problem with gooseberries for me is that chipmunks steal almost all our fruit, digging under or chewing through nets to get at them.


My currants survived there first winter in dry zone 5! I have blackdown and Glorie de sablons.


Which varieties get mildew and which taste bad?


i have consort and its considered poor for fresh eating and they’re are more productive cultivars out there but I’ve yet to sample any, or any other berry for that matter, that makes as good a jam as they do. as a side to pork, venison and turkey, its amazing! i even glazed a ham last xmas with it. my family loved it! if you want to try some, i could send you some cuttings. they root easily.


have you tried goldens? they are native to your area i have 4 i planted last year i got from amazon. they’re from a colorado nursery. supposedly more heat/ drought tolerant than other currants. they did very well here and i should get to taste them this summer.


Let me also recommend Crandall (though I believe it is more of a trademark name and not necessarily a unique cultivar. My best tasting one is barely a foot tall and rarely gives me more than half a dozen berries. It has been that big for at least 4 years. I just can’t seem to get it to grow. They are the best tasting currants I have, though

My other one is 3-4 times as big and is stingy with berries.

I have a hedge of golden currants that I almost never see berries on (and given that I have a dozen currant varieties in my yard, pollination should not be a factor)



Crandall was chosen as it seemed to produce more. Goldens are known for low production. Whitman Farms nursery said they switched to another strain of Crandall that was productive. They thought some nurseries were propagating by seed, not cloning. So that the true Crandall was not being sold. Having said all that I got mine from Rolling River and it seems to be a good producer. I also have species goldens, see how they do. I guess Golden is a little tough to propagate, but to me that seems unlikely. I’m trying to root some this year. Too early for me to comment on success or failure yet.

From Whitman Farms
The Crandall selection was from a wild stand of ribes odoratum found by a farmer west of Newton, KS in 1888. He developed the strain, which had extra sweetness and larger berry size. The original stand is gone now and I don’t remember who sent me my original plant thirty years ago, but I got a better strain from Colorado about 20 years ago. Some Crandalls bear better than others and because they are hard to root, I suspect that some nurseries are selling seedlings.


my Crandall was a ft. tall and still gave me 8 big berries. the bush was all yellow with blooms last spring. obviously not many set berries as its in its 1st year. the goldens i got were selected by the nursery for berry production so I’m hoping they are good producers.


the crandall i have now is from burnt ridge. i have another coming from hbusa in may. should be interesting comparing. planting them next to each other to help with pollination.


I have about six different varieties of currants. My favorite for eating are the Crandall and pinks. The only problem I have is keeping birds from eating the majority of the fruit. I purchased a solar powered sonar device to detour them.


Yes that strong musky flavor is what I need for syrup and Consort is about perfect. I like it a lot too. I love the way the plants smell, they have that musky smell, and mine are now leafing out and the odor is very strong, love it!

I’m trying **King Edward VII red flowering currant. Ribes sanguineum 'King Edward VII

It has blue berries, they are not supposed to be any good. The flowers attract butterflies and humming birds, and it has that currant scent I’m told. I have a spot to fill a hedge and so thought this would work. It’s a big bush. I like Ribes and rubus plants and have many of them. Always willing to add more!



Drew, this a beautiful red flowering currant! I too love the pleasant smell of black currants. I made tea out of the leafs, very refreshing and aromatic


nice bush! mine have just come out of the snow and are at bud break. won’t be long until i see green. :wink:


for some reason they don’t touch my consorts but do love my crandall. had to net mine last year.


Just to be clear that is not my bush, but I want to add it, did add it this year. It will be a few years before mine looks like that!


Last year the birds ate more of my currants than I did. I am going to try a solar ultrasonic device this year to detour the birds. I hope it works. All my currant bushes are setting fruit. Ill probably be picking fruit by the end of May.