Audubon® American Currant
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Fruit for the birds—and for the humans, too! American Currant is an uncommon native fruiting plant that will please your avian visitors with its sweet-tart black berries in summer, and you may want to snack on them as well. Robins and other thrushes, catbirds, bluebirds, and Brown Thrashers are known to sample the juicy fruits. Humans may eat them fresh or cook them into pies or jelly. They’re rich in vitamins and antioxidants! Unlike many other Currants (and the closely related Gooseberries), American Currant is thornless, so you’ll have pain-free picking when the harvest starts.
May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, catbirds, thrashers, and blue birds.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
- Hardiness Zone: 2-5
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Recommended by Our Growers
American Currant, a.k.a. Wild Black Currant, a.k.a. Eastern Black Currant, is a plant of cool northern lands (it is hardy to 50 below zero!), often growing in and near wetlands. Its native range extends from Canada to Colorado, Indiana, and Delaware. American Currant is not as common as it once was, due to an unfortunate story. In the 1920s and ’30s, thousands of Currants and Gooseberries were destroyed because they were found to be an alternate host for White Pine blister rust, a devastating imported fungal disease that kills Pine Trees. American Currant is not as vulnerable to the disease as the more popular European Black Currant, but it is susceptible.
American Currant provides additional wildlife value in the form of creamy yellow spring flowers that appeal to native bumblebees, carpenter bees, and sweat bees. Several species of comma butterflies also use American Currant foliage to feed their young.
How to Grow
In northern regions, where it is happiest, American Currant may be grown in full sun or part shade. In warmer regions, some shade will probably be necessary. A lover of bogs in the wild, it also prefers moist soil in the home landscape, though it is moderately drought tolerant once established. American Currant does not spread by suckers like some other Currants, but it may reseed. Check with your local extension service about the prevalence of White Pine blister rust in your area before planting. Currant plants are banned in some states.
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