Herb: American Blackcurrant

Latin name: Ribes americanum

Synonyms: Ribes floridum, Ribes pennsylvanicum

Family: Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)

Medicinal use of American Blackcurrant:

A decoction of the roots has been used to treat kidney problems and also to expel worms. It has been used by women to treat uterine problems. The root bark is anthelmintic. The poulticed root bark has been applied to swellings.

Description of the plant:


180 cm
(6 feet)

to June

Habitat of the herb:

Rich thickets and slopes.

Edible parts of American Blackcurrant:

Fruit - raw or cooked. They are used in jellies, jams, pies and preserves, and can be dried for later use. Comments on the flavour of these blackcurrants vary considerably, with one report saying they are esteemed as an article of diet, another that they have a fair flavour, another that they are watery and insipid and others that they have a distinct musky flavour and are only palatable when cooked. The fruit is up to 10mm in diameter.

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 -2 to +2C 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, 10 - 15cm with a heel, 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 American Blackcurrant:

Rich thickets and slopes.

Known hazards of Ribes americanum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.