DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized shrub with lobed, green leaves that turn yellow in fall. White flowers in spring, followed by tart, edible black berries in summer. Ideal for jams and jellies. BOTANICAL NAME: Ribes...
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DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized shrub with lobed, green leaves that turn yellow in fall. White flowers in spring, followed by tart, edible black berries in summer. Ideal for jams and jellies.

BOTANICAL NAME: Ribes nigrum 'Ben Nevis'
AVERAGE MATURE HEIGHT: 2 Meters
AVERAGE MATURE SPREAD: 1 Meter
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun
FLOWER COLOUR: White
FLOWERING TIME: Spring
FOLIAGE COLOUR: Green
COLD HARDINESS: Zone 3 ( Should survive up to -39.9° Celsius )
WATER NEEDS: Average
OTHER FEATURES: Attracts Birds & Butterflies, Deer Resistant, Edible, Fall Colour, Rabbit Resistant

Edible Qualities

Ben Nevis Black Currant is a small shrub that is typically grown for its edible qualities. It produces clusters of black round berries which are usually ready for picking from mid to late summer. The berries have a tart taste and a juicy texture.

The berries are most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Preserves
  • Wine-Making
  • Sauces

Features & Attributes

Ben Nevis Black Currant has green foliage throughout the season. The lobed leaves turn yellow in fall. The flowers are not ornamentally significant. It features an abundance of magnificent black berries from mid to late summer.

This is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other landscape plants with less refined foliage. This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Ben Nevis Black Currant is suitable for the following landscape applications:

  • Orchard/Edible Landscaping

Planting & Growing

Ben Nevis Black Currant will grow to be about 4 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 3 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years. This is a self-pollinating variety, so it doesn't require a second plant nearby to set fruit.

This shrub is typically grown in a designated area of the yard because of its mature size and spread. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. 

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