Herb: Buffalo Currant

Latin name: Ribes odoratum

Synonyms: Ribes aureum, Ribes aureum villosum, Ribes fragrans

Family: Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)

Medicinal use of Buffalo Currant:

a poultice of the plant has been applied to snakebites.

Description of the plant:


2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)



Habitat of the herb:

Rocky bluffs and slopes, also along the sides of streams.

Edible parts of Buffalo Currant:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The quality varies from plant to plant, the best forms are sweet and make very pleasant eating. The fruit ripens from late July and can hang on the bush until early autumn. The fruit can also be dried for winter use. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter, though it is larger in some selected cultivars. Flowers - raw. A sweet taste. The leaves can be used to make a tea or as a flavouring in foods.

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 between 0 and 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. Division of suckers in the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.

Cultivation of Buffalo Currant:

Rocky bluffs and slopes, also along the sides of streams.

Known hazards of Ribes odoratum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.