Ribes

Currants and gooseberries are a beautiful addition to the landscape with bright spring flowers, colorful berries and lobed foliage.

Currant varieties come in shades of red, black, and white. Red currants are high in pectin, making them ideal for jams and jellies. Black currants have five times the Vitamin C of oranges and make wonderful liqueurs. White currants are typically sweeter and less acidic than red currants and are best eaten fresh.

Gooseberries typically have striped, slightly fuzzy fruit and thorny stems. Both produce small to medium, tart berries great for pies, jams, jellies and preserves. They are high in vitamins A, B, and C, as well as several minerals.

One of the first signs that spring is nipping at our heels at Portland Nursery is the arrival of our berries. Currants and Gooseberries begin to arrive in January. Our selection varies year to year, and we almost never see as many kinds as we would like, so please use this list as a guideline.

Red Currant

Red Currants – Ribes rubrum

Plant Red Currants 3-5 feet apart.

Pruning: Red currants bear fruit on two to three year old wood. Remove branches more than three years old. Then remove all but six of the new shoots.

Ribes nigrum

Black Currants – Ribes nigrum

Plant Black Currants 5-6 feet apart.

Pruning: Black currants bear fruit on one year old wood, and spurs arising from two year old wood. Remove 1/4 to 1/3 of all two year wood, as well as older and weak wood. New shoots are pale and tan. Two year wood is gray and older wood is black.

Ribes rubrum

White Currants – Ribes rubrum

Plant White Currants 3-5 feet apart.

Pruning: White currants bear fruit on two to three year old wood. Remove branches more than three years old. Then remove all but six of the new shoots.

Ribes sanguineum

Gooseberries – Ribes uva-crispa

Plant Gooseberries 2-5 feet apart.

Pruning: Gooseberries bear fruit on two to four year old wood. They are pruned like red currants, removing wood older than four years (this wood is dark with multiple branching). Thin the new shoots to the strongest six.

Ribes rubrum

Jostaberry - Ribes nigra x Ribes divaricatum x Ribes uva-crispa

Jostaberries are the child of European Black Currants and Gooseberries with Pacific Northwest native Gooseberries. Their fruit looks like a black currant but the flavor is closer to gooseberry! It's disease resistant and self-fertile and well worth growing!

Grows 5' x 6', sun - pt shade (grow in sun for best fruiting). Plant 6-8 feet apart.

Find the best Berries and Small Fruits for your Garden

We carry a wide variety year-round.
These are some of our favorites but represent only a fraction of what you will find at the nursery.