Herbs & Plants (Spices)

Ribes cereum

Botanical Name : Ribes cereum
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Species: R. cereum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales

Common Names: Wax Currant, Squaw currant

Habitat : Ribes cereum is native to western North America, including British Columbia, Alberta, and much of the western United States, from Washington, Oregon, and California east as far as the western Dakotas and the Oklahoma Panhandle.It grows in canyons, dry ravines, hillsides, prairies and open woodland.

Ribes cereum is a deciduous Shrub. It is a spreading or erect shrub growing 20 centimeters (8 inches) to 2 meters (80 inches) tall. It is aromatic, with a “spicy” scent. The stems are fuzzy and often very glandular, and lack spines and prickles. The leaves are somewhat rounded and divided into shallow lobes which are toothed along the edges. The leaves are hairless to quite hairy, and usually studded with visible resin glands, particularly around the edges. The inflorescence is a clustered raceme of 2 to 9 flowers. The small flower is tubular with the white to pink sepals curling open at the tips to form a corolla-like structure. Inside there are minute white or pinkish petals, five stamens, and a two protruding green styles. The fruit is a rather tasteless red berry up to a centimeter (0.4 inch) wide, with a characteristically long, dried flower remnant at the end….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Requires a sunny position[11]. Hardy to about -20°c. A very ornamental and free-flowering plant. Often cultivated for its edible fruit in N. America. It is disease-resistant and is being used in modern blackcurrant breeding programmes. Plants can harbour a stage of ‘white pine blister rust‘, so they should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus. Related to R. viscosissimum.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 – 5 months cold stratification at between -2 to 0°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 – 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year’s growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Not very nice, large quantities can cause nausea. Reports on the quality of the fruit range from insipid and rubbery to highly esteemed as an article of diet. The fruit can also be used to make pemmican, jellies, jams, sauces and pies. Fruits can also be dried for later use[85]. Young leaves. No more details are given. Flowers – raw. A sweet flavour.

The Zuni people use the berries of the pedicellare variety as food, and eat the leaves with uncooked mutton fat or deer fat.

Medicinal Uses:
An infusion of the inner bark has been used as a wash for sore eyes. The fruit has been eaten in quantity as an emetic. It has also been used to treat diarrhoea.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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