Herb: Alpine Currant

Latin name: Ribes alpinum

Family: Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)

Edible parts of Alpine Currant:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Sweet and not very acid, but less palatable than R. rubrum, the red currant. An insipid fruit, it is not palatable. The only fruits we have eaten have been good size red currants with a fair flavour. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter and can be freely borne when male and female plants are grown.

Description of the plant:


120 cm
(4 feet)

to May

Habitat of the herb:

Cliffs and rocky woods on limestone.

Other uses of Alpine Currant:

The cultivar "Green Mound" makes a good dwarf hedge. Plants can be grown as a tall ground cover when spaced about 2 metres apart each way. The cultivars "Aureum" and "Pumilum" are smaller growing and should be spaced about 1 metre apart.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification at 0 - 9C and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year's growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors.

Cultivation of Alpine Currant:

Cliffs and rocky woods on limestone.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Ribes alpinum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.