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Ribes alpinum

Phonetic Spelling
RYE-bees AL-py-num
Description

Alpine Current is a dense, rounded deciduous shrub in the gooseberry family. It is native to mountainous areas of northern and central Europe and is extremely winter hardy. The shrub has separate male and female plants with only the female bearing fruit. Most shrubs sold commercially are male as they are less susceptible to rust diseases.

Grow this plant in full sun to deep shade in average moist well-drained alkaline soils. It is tolerant of rocky and clay soils and is somewhat drought tolerant once established.   The shrub reaches 5-6 feet tall and wide with non-showy flowers and attractive bright green lobed leaves. The round red fruits are on fertilized female shrubs only and are not edible.

The leaves of this shrub reach the ground making it great as informal hedge,as a foundation plant, or used in a shrub border..  It withstands both heavy pruning and shearing.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Aphids, current bud mite, and scales are occasional pests.  In humid, wet climates leaf spots, rust, and anthracnose can be a problem.  Female plants are an alternative host for white pine blister rust.  All Ribes are prohibited in North Carolina at this time. 

SECTION .0400 -WHITE PINE BLISTER RUST02 NCAC 48A .0401CURRANT AND GOOSEBERRY PLANTS

 (a) All wild and cultivated currant and gooseberry plants in North Carolina are hereby declared to be dangerous plants and are consequently subject to destruction by the Commissioner of Agriculture or authorized agents wherever found.(b) No person shall knowingly and willfully keep upon his premises any currant or gooseberry plant, or permit such plants to mature seed or otherwise multiply upon his land.

History Note: Authority G.S. 106-65.45; 106-65.46; 106-284.18; 106-420; Eff. January 1, 1985.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Green Mound'
    2-3 feet tall and wide. Male
  • 'Pumilum'
    Male shrub 2-3 feet tall and wide
  • 'Spreg'
    Female shrub 3-5 feet tall and wide, glossy leaves
'Green Mound', 'Pumilum', 'Spreg'
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#deciduous shrub#nectar plant#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#mass planting#showy fruits#deer resistant#glossy leaves#shrub border#red fruits#borders#screening#food source summer#food source fall#compact habit#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#nectar plant mid-spring#heavy shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Green Mound'
    2-3 feet tall and wide. Male
  • 'Pumilum'
    Male shrub 2-3 feet tall and wide
  • 'Spreg'
    Female shrub 3-5 feet tall and wide, glossy leaves
'Green Mound', 'Pumilum', 'Spreg'
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#deciduous shrub#nectar plant#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#mass planting#showy fruits#deer resistant#glossy leaves#shrub border#red fruits#borders#screening#food source summer#food source fall#compact habit#bird friendly#food source soft mast fruit#nectar plant mid-spring#heavy shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ribes
    Species:
    alpinum
    Family:
    Grossulariaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northern and central Europe, Russia
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies are attracted to the flowers and birds relish the fruits.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Male clones are reported to be resistant to rust diseases.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 7 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Mounding
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Non-edible round red fruits on female plants are enjoyed by birds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small greenish-yellow flowers appear on separate male and female plants. Most plants sold are male.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    3-5 lobed bright green leaves 1"-2" long turn deeper green and glossy as they age before turning a non-showy yellow color in the fall.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Peeling
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    The bark is initially smooth and light grey, becoming brownish grey and may peel with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Compaction
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heavy Shade
    Rabbits
    Salt