Red Currant

Ribes rubrum L.

Order:

Family: Grossulariaceae (was Saxifragaceae)

Names:

Ribes
Rubrum
Red Currant

Other Names:

Summary:

A deciduous shrub bearing red grapes.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Stipules -
Petiole - Yes
Blade - Lobed and toothed

Stems:

Flower stem -

Flower head:

Flowers:

Ovary -
Sepals -
Petals -
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Round berry.

Seeds:

Roots:

Taproot and laterals.

Key Characters:

Perennial, deciduous shrub or vine.
Red grapes.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial deciduous shrub.

Physiology:

Frost sensitive in late spring. Less sensitive to frost than Blackcurrant.
Low chilling requirement.

Reproduction:

By cuttings.

Flowering times:

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Cuttings.

Hybrids:

Varieties include Fay's Prolific, Red Dutch and Ruby Castle.

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Mainly spread by intentional planting of cuttings.

Origin and History:

Temperate Eurasia. Europe.
Introduced as a fruit crop.

Distribution:

NSW, TAS, VIC.
Not naturalised.

Habitats:

Climate:

Warm to hot regions with an annual rainfall of more than 510 mm falling mainly in winter unless irrigated. Prefers areas with little summer rainfall.

Soil:

Wide range from deep sands to clays. Prefers well drained loams to clay loams. Tolerates poorer soils than Blackcurrant.

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Berries used to make dried fruit.

Detrimental:

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

Sale of produce controlled by various authorities.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Important pests include Bud Mites, Light Brown Apple Moth, Nematodes, Phylloxera, Vine Scale and Vine Moth.
Diseases include Black Spot, Downy Mildew, Botrytis Grey Mould, Leaf Roll Virus, Powdery Mildew and Pythium Crown Rot.

Related plants:

Black Currant (Ribes nigrum)
Gooseberry (Ribes uva-crispa = Ribes grossularis)

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #1057.3.

Reid, R.L. (1990) The Manual of Australian Agriculture. (Butterworths, Sydney). P171-172.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.