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RIBES alpinum

Image of Ribes alpinum

James H. Schutte

Family

Grossulariaceae

Botanical Name

RIBES alpinum

Plant Common Name

Alpine Currant

General Description

Unlike its edible kin, gooseberries and currants, the Alpine currant, a native of Europe, is grown mostly as a hedge or specimen plant for its size, shape, glossy leaves and tolerance of pruning. It is a medium-sized, hardy deciduous shrub that with age has many branching stems and takes a spreading shape. It is dioecious (plants are either male or female) and the female plants have greenish yellow flowers of very little ornamental value. The leaves are green to dark-green, slightly lobed, toothy, and glossy.

The Alpine currant is an adaptable shrub. Though it grows best in full sun and well-drained soil, it tolerates all degrees of sunlight from full sun to full shade, and a wide range of soils, including those that are compacted and dry. It is useful as a deciduous hedge because it grows densely when pruned or sheared annually, and holds it leaves on its bottom branches (because of its tolerance for shade), unlike most hedge plants. It is also useful planted in a group to cover a site with tough conditions, such as full sun or full shade and dry soil.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 6

  • Sunset Zone

    A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 10

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade

  • Height

    0'-5' / 0.0m - 1.5m

  • Width

    0'-6' / 0.0m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow Green

  • Fruit Color

    Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Chartreuse, Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Foundation, Hedges, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No