Common Name: red imperial current
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 3 to 5 ft
Width: 3 to 5 ft
Ribes rubrum is a woody perennial shrub native to Europe. It prefers part shade to full sun in well-drained soils with medium moisture. Clusters of 8 to 20 creamy-white flowers bloom from April to May. The heart-shaped leaves are 1-4 inches long with coarsely serrated margins.
Red imperial currants are self-fertilizing plants that provide tasty fruit. The fruit is tart and is more often used for baked goods, jams, and jellies than for fresh eating. Prune off stems 3 years or older in the dormant season. Ribes should not be planted near eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) where white pine blister rust is prevalent.