Herbs & Plants

Ribes hudsonianum

Botanical Name: Ribes hudsonianum
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
Species: R. hudsonianum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Saxifragales
Common Names: Hudson Bay Currant, Northern black currant, Western black currant

Habitat : Ribes hudsonianum is native to Northern N. America – Alaska to Oregon, south to British Columbia and Minnesota.It grows on swampy woods and rocky slopes.
Ribes hudsonianum is a deciduous upright to erect shrubs growing one half to 2 meters (20-80 inches) tall. Thw plant is aromatic, with a strong scent generally considered unpleasant. Stems are covered in shiny, yellow resin glands that lack spines or prickles. Leaves are up to 10 centimeters long, divided into three, or rarely five, sharp-toothed lobes, having long hairs on the undersides, studded with yellow glands. Inflorescences are erect, spikelike racemes of up to 50 flowers. Each flower is roughly tubular, with the whitish sepals spreading open to reveal smaller whitish petals within. Fruits are bitter-tasting, black berries, about a centimeter (0.4 inch) wide with a waxy surface, speckled with yellow glands.

It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. 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 can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so well in such a position. Hardy to about -20°c. 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.

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 0 to 9°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. Mainly used in jams, jellies etc. The fruit is about 5 – 10mm in diameter.

Medicinal Uses:
A decoction of the stem sections, used alone or with wild gooseberry stems (Ribes spp) has been used to treat sickness after childbirth. The raw fruits have been eaten as a treatment for colds. A decoction of leaves and fruits has been used to treat sickness in general. A decoction of the stems and leaves has been used in the treatment of colds, sore throats and stomach complaints. A decoction of the roots has been taken as a general panacea to treat all types of sickness and also tuberculosis.

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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