American Black Currant


A versatile and distinctive berry for people and wildlife that grows well in partial shade to full sun.

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SKU: black-currant-american Categories: , , , , Tag:


American black currant is a medium-size shrub 3-5′ tall and spanning 5-6′ wide. Showy bell-shaped creamy white to pale yellow flowers hang in 2-3″ clusters in early spring and are an important early food source for bees. American black currant does well in moist partly shaded sites such as woodland edges or understory plantings to full sun but should not be planted in hot, dry areas. The smooth glossy berries are dark purple-red to black and approximately 1/3″ in diameter, dropping in chain-like clusters along a strig. The berries can be used for jams and jellies or relishes or chutneys. They can also be dried into raisin-like snacks or made into syrups. American black currant makes an excellent wildlife plant, supplying birds with berries during the breeding season. Though it is in the gooseberry family, Ribes americanum does not have prickly stems. Striking fall leaf color in gold to red tones. Self-fertile.

Size:  8-20″ bareroot seedling

Landscaping: Partial Shade to Full Sun, Moist Soils

Zone 3

PDF: NDSU Plant Description for American Black Currant

Photo Credits: Public Domain, Matt Lavin CC SA 2.0, Matt Lavin CC-SA 2.0Rasbak CC-SA 3.0, Nadiatalent CC SA 3.0


Additional information

Scientific Name

Ribes americanum