Herb: Stink Currant

Latin name: Ribes bracteosum

Family: Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)

Medicinal use of Stink Currant:

The fruits can be eaten in quantity as a laxative. An infusion of the stems has been given to children as a treatment for colds.

Description of the plant:


2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)


Habitat of the herb:

Stream banks and moist woods, especially by seepages.

Edible parts of Stink Currant:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Not very palatable. The fruit can cause stomach upsets if eaten in large quantities. The fruit has a mild blackcurrant flavour, though it is not so juicy, has a mealy texture and a slight bitterness. It ripens in September and is acceptable in small quantities raw, it can also be used in pies, preserves etc and makes an excellent jam. It can be dried and stored for winter use. Native North American Indians considered the fruit to be constipating and so would eat it with oil. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter, it is produced on long racemes, making it much easier to harvest than most currants.

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 5C 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 Stink Currant:

Stream banks and moist woods, especially by seepages.

Known hazards of Ribes bracteosum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.