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Ribes americanum (American black currant)
Smith, R.W.

Ribes americanum

Ribes americanum Mill.

American Black Currant, Wild Black Currant

Grossulariaceae (Currant Family)


USDA Symbol: RIAM2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Small, globular shrub, 3-6 ft. tall, with many slender stems. Palmately-lobed foliage becomes colorful in fall. Flowers are small, bell-shaped and white, hanging in loose clusters. They are followed by purple berries.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Fruit: Black

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


USA: CO , CT , DC , DE , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , MB , NB , NS , ON , QC , SK
Native Distribution: N.S. to Alt., s. to NJ, IA, NE & WY
Native Habitat: Open woods; thickets; marshy sites; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Variable.
Conditions Comments: Not recommended; carries disease which kills white pine.


Use Wildlife: Berries are favorites among birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ribes americanum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ribes americanum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ribes americanum


Record Modified: 2022-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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