Ribes rubrum L. - Red currant


Ribes sylvestre (Lam.) Mert. et W. Koch, Ribes vulgare Lam., Ribes sativum Syme, Ribes domesticum Jancz., Ribes rubrum subsp. vulgare Domin


Family Grossulariaceae DC., genus Ribes L.

Morphology and biology.

Shrub 1-1.5 m (up to 3 m). Root system is enough strong, fibrillose, its main part is on the depth about 40 cm (till 2 m), radius 50-60 cm. Old shoots with scale off dark bark. Leaves are dark-green, with 3-5 laminas, without specific smell. Groups of flowering buds are situated at short shoots, which are amassed in the upper part of different age segments. Flowers are small, pinkish, greenish, flat or cup-shaped, combined in 6-25-flowers raceme 4-12 cm length. Fruits - berries with different size (diameter till 1.5 cm), shape (spherical, pear-shaped, oblong), weight, and color (yellowish, cream, pink, stripy, ruby, dark-red). There are 8-16 seeds in a berry. Flowering in May-June, bear fruit in July. Shrub bearing during 20-25 years, but the best harvest is before 10 years. Separate shoots live 6-8 years.

Distribution and origin.

Originated from Ribes vulgare Lam., R. rubrum L. and R. petreum Wulf. Species is cultivated in Russia from 11 century, in Europe - from 16 century. Main plantations are in Nechernozemye, Central-Chernozemye, Volga region, Ural, Siberia, Far East.


Frost-resisting and drought-resisting, high-yield, steady to bud tick. Optimal temperature for growth and development 18-20 °C. Can grow on different type of soil: chernozem, subacid podzol, and even on subsolonetzic soil. Prefers sandy or loamy soils.

Economic value.

Berries contain 6.2-10.9% sugars, till 2.1-3.5% organic acids, 0.74-1.60% pectin, mineral salts, vitamins C 26-86-180-300 mg/100g, P 400-500 mg/100g, A, B9, B1, B2, B6. The berries are eaten fresh and used for cooking jelly, fruit drinks, vine. Sorts: Chulkovskaya, Schedraya, Rannyaya sladkaya, Pervenets, Krasnyi krest, Faya plodorodnaya, Viktoria, Gollandskaya krasnaya, Yuterborgskaya, Zadunaiskaya, Konstantinovskaya. Productivity 3-17 kg per bush, 8-12 (average 5-6) ton per hectare. Propagated by layers, cuttings. Bearing begins on the second year, and gives high yield on 3-4 year.


Bokhonova M.I. 2002. Currant. St.-Petersburg: Diamand, Agropromizdat, 142 p. (in Russian).
Cherepakhin V.I. 1991. Culture of currant and raspberry. Lections. Moscow: All-union agricultural institute of extra-mural education. 33 p. (in Russian).
Lushchits G.E. (comp.), 2001. Berries bushes: currant, raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry. Minsk: Knizhnyi Dom. 80 p. (in Russian).
Pozdniakov A.D., 1985. Currant. Moscow: Agropromizdat. 128 p. (in Russian).
Zotova Z.Ya., Inozemtsev V.V. 1985. Currant garden. Leningrad: Lenizdat, 94 p. (in Russian).

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Photo © A.N. Afonin

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