|Ribes nigrum subsp. var.||Blackcurrant|
Ribes nigrum, or Blackcurrant is a species of Ribes berry native to central and northern Europe and northern Asia.
It is a small shrub growing to 1–2 m tall. The leaves are alternate, simple, 3–5 cm long and broad, and palmately lobed with five lobes, with a serrated margin. The flowers are 4–6 mm diameter, with five reddish-green to brownish petals; they are produced in racemes 5–10 cm long.
When not in fruit, the plant looks similar to the redcurrant shrub, distinguished by a strong fragrance from leaves and stems. The fruit is an edible berry 1 cm diameter, very dark purple in color, almost black, with a glossy skin and a persistent calyx at the apex, and containing several seeds dense in nutrients. An established bush can produce up to 5 kilos of berries during summer.
Plants from Asia are sometimes distinguished as a separate variety Ribes nigrum var. sibiricum, or even as a distinct species Ribes cyathiforme.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Ribes nigrum, Linn. European Black Currant. Upright shrub, to 6 ft., with rather stout branches, of strong disagreeable odor: lvs. suborbicular, cordate, 3-5-lobed, with broad, acutish irregularly serrate lobes, sparingly pubescent, resinous-dotted beneath, to 4 in. broad: racemes 5-10-fld.; bracts small, much shorter than the pedicels; ovary and calyx pubescent and glandular; calyx-tube broadly campanulate; sepals oblong, recurved; petals reddish or whitish, about half as long as sepals: fr. black, subglobose, 1/3-2/5in. thick. Eu.; N. and Cent. Asia, Himalayas.—Sometimes cult. for its fr. and escaped in the eastern and middle states. Var. heterophyllum, Pepin (var. aconitifolium, Kirchn., var. crispum, Hort., var. laciniatum, Lav.). With divided lvs., sometimes nearly to the base, the lobes irregularly and deeply incised. Var. apiifolium, Kirchn. (var. dissectum, Nichols.). Lvs. 3-parted, usually to the base, the lobes pinnatifid with narrow segms. Var. xanthocarpum, Spaeth (var. fruictu-luteo, Hort.). Fr. yellow. Var. chlorocarpum, Spaeth (var. fructu-viridi, Hort.). Fr. greenish. There are also forms with variegated lvs. as var. variegatum, Nichols., var. marmoratum, Mouillef., and var. reticulatum, Nichols.
Pests and diseases
There are many cultivars of blackcurrant, including:
Amos Black, Ben Alder, Ben Avon, Ben Connan, Ben Dorain, Ben Gairn, Ben Hope, Ben Lomond, Ben Loyal, Ben More, Ben Sarek, Ben Tirran, Big Ben, Boskoop Giant, Cotswold Cross and Wellington XXX.
New varieties are being developed all the time to improve frost tolerance, disease resistance, machine harvesting, fruit quality, nutritional content and fruit flavour.
R. nigrum forma chlorocarpum (Späth) Rehder
R. nigrum var. chlorocarpum Späth
R. nigrum var. sibiricum W.Wolf
R. cyathiforme Pojark.
R. olidum Moench, nom. illeg.
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Ribes nigrum. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
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