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RIBES nigrum 'Ben Lomond'

Image of Ribes nigrum 'Ben Lomond'

Family

Grossulariaceae

Botanical Name

RIBES nigrum 'Ben Lomond'

Plant Common Name

Black Currant

General Description

Grown for its flavorful berries, black currant is a small to medium-sized deciduous shrub from Eurasia. The cultivar 'Ben Lomond' produces abundant clusters of relatively large, flavorful, few-seeded fruits. The firm, tart, long-lasting berries ripen purple-black in midsummer. They are preceded by drooping clusters of inconspicuous greenish and purple flowers in spring. The fruits are excellent for preserves, pies, and sauces. The toothed, three-lobed, maple-like leaves emit a pungent odor when bruised. This shrub has a compact, upright, spreading habit.

For best growth and fruiting, plant this shrub in full to partial sun and well-drained soil. It needs some winter chill to perform well. In climates with hot summers, choose a site that has little or no afternoon sun. Mulch the plant to help provide even moisture and cool the soil. Remove two-year old stems to make room for new stems that are more productive and to allow sun to reach all the stems.

Use black currant in mixed edible plantings and hedges. As an alternate host for white pine blister rust, it may be banned in areas where that disease is extant (http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/FactSheets/wpineblister/wpineblister.htm). Although some black currant cultivars are rust-resistant, 'Ben Lomond' is susceptible.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    4'-5' / 1.2m - 1.5m

  • Width

    4'-5' / 1.2m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Europe, Central Asia, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green, Purple

  • Fruit Color

    Purple, Black

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Hedges, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No