Herb: American Red Currant

Latin name: Ribes triste

Synonyms: Ribes rubrum subglandulosum

Family: Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)

Medicinal use of American Red Currant:

A decoction of the stems, without the bark, has been used as a wash for sore eyes. A decoction of the root and stem has been used in the treatment of gravel. A compound decoction of the stems has been used as an emmenagogue.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

Habitat of the herb:

Bogs and cool wet woods.

Edible parts of American Red Currant:

Fruit - raw or cooked. A rather tart flavour, it is usually cooked in pies, preserves etc. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is similar to the garden red currant and contains rather a lot of seeds. The fruit is about 6mm 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 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.

Cultivation of American Red Currant:

Bogs and cool wet woods.

Known hazards of Ribes triste:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.