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RIBES rubrum 'Wilder'

Image of Ribes rubrum 'Wilder'

Ulysses Prentiss Hedrick et al., USDA Corvallis

Family

Grossulariaceae

Botanical Name

RIBES rubrum 'Wilder'

Plant Common Name

Red Currant

General Description

A vigorous, productive deciduous shrub, Ribes rubrum ‘Wilder’ red currant is notable for its pendent clusters of greenish-yellow flowers in early spring followed in summer by grape-like clusters of tart, sweet, shiny red fruits. Like many currants it is banned in some regions because it can be infected by white pine blister rust, a usually fatal disease of Pinus. The parent species is native from northern Europe to Manchuria. This hardy cultivar, ‘Wilder,’ was found in the U.S. around 1877 and has been a favorite ever since. This plant needs four to five years to mature and produce full crops, but thereafter bears large crops reliably. The leaves are three-lobed, toothy, and dark green, and the shrub is many stemmed and upright.

For best growth and fruiting, plant ‘Wilder’ in full to partial sun on well-drained soil. 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 stems that are more than three years old and thin the new shoots, leaving enough to replace old shoots and making room for sun to reach all the stems. Picked just after they turn red, the fruits make excellent jelly.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    0'-6' / 0.0m - 1.8m

  • Width

    0'-5' / 0.0m - 1.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    Europe, Russia/Siberia, Central Asia, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green, Brown

  • Fruit Color

    Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, 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

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Hedges, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes