American black currant

(Ribes americanum)

Conservation Status
American black currant
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

American black currant is an 40 to 60 tall, erect, perennial shrub that sometimes forms thickets.

The stems are erect or ascending, slender, and ridged. They do not have spines or bristles. Young stems are finely hairy with yellow glands. Older stems are gray and hairless.

The buds are brown, hairy, egg-shaped, to 3 16 long, with a blunt tip.

The leaves are alternate, stalked, 1 to 2 long, and 1 to 3 wide. They are broadly egg-shaped in outline with a flat or shallowly heart-shaped base. They are palmately lobed, with 3 or 5 pointed lobes, and palmately veined. The upper surface is dark green, hairless, with scattered yellow glands. The lower surface is paler green, hairy along the veins, with many yellow glands. The margins are deeply toothed or double-toothed.

The inflorescences are in elongated, unbranched, clusters (racemes) of 8 to 20 or more flowers. The racemes are 2 to 3 long and drooping, with a hairy central axis. There are 2 conspicuous bracts at the base of the raceme. The bracts are lance-shaped, hairy, and much longer than the flower stalks.

The flowers are yellowish-white, about long, and bell-shaped. There are 5 petal-like sepals fused together at the base into a short tube, with 5 lobes that spread widely and bend backward at the tip. They are sparsely hairy on the outside and have no yellow glands. There are 5 blunt-tipped petals that are shorter than the sepals and are pressed together forming a tube. There are usually 5, sometimes 4 stamens, that are shorter than the petals and do not protrude from the tube. The ovary is hairless and has no bristles, prickles, or yellow glands. The style is as long as or slightly longer than the stamens.

The fruit is a black, juicy berry. It is almost round, 5 16 to in diameter, hairless, and has no bristles or prickles.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

40 to 60

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Yellowish white

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

European black currant (Ribes nigrum) has flowers on stalks that are much longer than the minute, subtending bracts. The sepals are densely hairy on the outside. The sepals and ovary have scattered, yellow glands.

Northern black currant (Ribes hudsonianum) racemes are erect or ascending. The flowers are on stalks that are much longer than the minute, subtending bracts. The sepals are densely hairy on the outside.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Upland woods, floodplains.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

Late April to early June

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28.

 
  1/10/2012      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Saxifraganae  
 

Order

Saxifragales (saxifrages, stonecrops, and allies)  
 

Family

Grossulariaceae (gooseberry)  
  Genus Ribes (currants and gooseberries)  
  Subgenus Ribes  
  Section Botrycarpum  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Coreosma americana

Coreosma florida

Ribes campanulatum

Ribes floridum

Ribes floridum var. grandiflorum

Ribes intermedium

Ribes nigrum var. pennsylvanicum

Ribes recurvatum

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American black currant

black currant

gooseberry currant

wild black currant

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Palmate

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes or leaflets that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

 

Raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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Plant

  American black currant   American black currant
       

Inflorescence

  American black currant   American black currant
       

Flowers

  American black currant   American black currant
       
  American black currant    
       

Leaves

  American black currant   American black currant
       

Stem

  American black currant    
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Ribes americanum (American Black Currant)
Allen Chartier
 
  Ribes americanum (American Black Currant)  

 

slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  Frank Cook on Black Currant - Ribes nigrum
Robin Harford
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 30, 2009

http://www.EatWeeds.co.uk - Herbalist Frank Cook, the internationally renowned edible wild plant expert, explores the importance of Black Currant (Ribes nigrum) as food and medicine.

   
  BlackCurrant
Art Gianfermo
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 2, 2011

The Black Currant is another in my series on he nutraceutical plants that can be used as both for food and medicine. Black currants are a perennial species of the Ribes berry native which is native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia.

The fruit has extraordinarily high vitamin C content (302% of the Daily Value per 100 g, table), good levels of potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B5, and a broad range of other essential nutrients. The big deal is that phytochemicals (polyphenols/anthocyanins) are contained in the the fruit and have been demonstrated in laboratory experiments to have the potential to inhibit inflammation mechanisms suspected to be at the origin of heart disease, cancer, microbial infections or neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease.

Yes you heard that right to inhibit neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease.

Blackcurrant seed oil is also rich in many other nutrients, especially vitamin E and several unsaturated fatty acids including alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid.

Culinary uses mostly include the making of jams, jellies or preserves but also in beverages. In fact in the UK they make a blackcurrant cordial mixed with cider to make a drink called "Cider and Black". The addition of lager results in "Diesel" or "Snakebite and Black" available at pubs. Adding a small amount of blackcurrant juice to Guinness is preferred by some to heighten the taste of the popular stout.

Blackcurrants were once popular in the United States but were banned in the early 1900s. That was a time when blackcurrants, as a vector of white pine blister rust, were considered a threat to the U.S. logging industry. Things have changed and they are making a comeback.

   
       

 

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