Herb: Wax Currant

Latin name: Ribes cereum

Family: Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)

Medicinal use of Wax Currant:

An infusion of the inner bark has been used as a wash for sore eyes. The fruit has been eaten in quantity as an emetic. It has also been used to treat diarrhoea.

Description of the plant:


180 cm
(6 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Canyons, dry ravines, hillsides, prairies and open woodland.

Edible parts of Wax Currant:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Not very nice, large quantities can cause nausea. Reports on the quality of the fruit range from insipid and rubbery to highly esteemed as an article of diet. The fruit can also be used to make pemmican, jellies, jams, sauces and pies. Fruits can also be dried for later use. Young leaves. No more details are given. Flowers - raw. A sweet flavour.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 - 5 months cold stratification at between -2 to 0C 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 Wax Currant:

Canyons, dry ravines, hillsides, prairies and open woodland.

Known hazards of Ribes cereum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.