Ribes atropurpureum C. A. Meyer - Dark purple currant, sour currant.

Taxonomic position.

Family Grossulariaceae Hill, genus Ribes L., subgenus Coreosma (Spach) Jancz.

Morphology and biology.

Perennial plant. Erect, deciduous shrub, 1.5-2.0 m tall. Annual branches are brown, older ones are taupe or dark purple bark. Leaf blade has 3-5 pointed lobes, is sharp-toothed along the edges and emarginate at the base, with a downy underside and stalk. Racemes are short with a densely downy axis and ovate bracts. Hypanthium is dark purple. Sepals are off-violet or light violet, downy along the edges. Petals are purple, with a broadened, fan-shaped upper part. Berries are purple, 8-10 mm in diameter, sour. Seeds are large, about 2.5 mm long and cube-shaped. Entomophilous mesophyte, shade-tolerant, propagates by seeds. Extremely variable in nature; produces numerous forms similar to R. altissimum Turcz. and R. rubrum L. s.l. Produces hybrids with these other species in areas where they coexist.


Occurs in Siberia from Tarbagatay to the western Baikal, as well as in the vicinities of Tobolsk, Tomsk and Achinsk.


Grows in the mountainous forest zone under the canopy, in flood-lands and along brook beds. More common in areas covered by dark, coniferous forests. Grows in the mountains as high as the tree line.

Utilization and economic value.

Used for food or as a source of vitamins. Wild forms are also used for food. Frost-resistant (this trait is used in breeding).

Reference citations:

Koropachinsky I.Yu. 1983. Woody plants of Siberia. Novosibirsk: Nauka. 196-197 pp.
Krylov, G.V. 1931. Flora of West Siberia. Vol. 6. Novosibirsk, 1441 pp.
Pavlova, N.M. 1936. Currant and gooseberry. Cultivated Flora of the USSR. Vol. 16. Moscow-Leningrad, 21-133 pp.
Peshkova G.A., ed. 1994. Siberian Flora. Vol. 7. Berberidaceae-Grossulariaceae. Novosibirsk: Nauka, 214 pp.
Poyarkova A.I. 1936. Critical review of wild currant and gooseberry species in the Soviet Union. Flora and taxonomy of higher plants, Series 1, Issue 2. Works of the Botanical Institute, USSR Academy of Sciences. 153-216 pp. (In Russian)
Poyarkova A.I. 1939. Genus Ribes L. Family Saxifragaceae. In: Komarov V.L., editor. Flora of the USSR. Vol. 9. Moscow-Leningrad: USSR Academy of Sciences Publishers, 244 pp.
Vulf E.V., Maleyeva O.F. 1969. Worldwide resources of useful plants. Food, fodder, industrial, medicinal and others. Leningrad: Nauka, 177 pp.

© T.N. Smekalova


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