11 Blackcurrant Varieties (Different Varieties of Blackcurrant)

Blackcurrant on a branch in garden.

Blackcurrant ice cream is more than just a unique flavor. They’re equipped with antioxidant, antispasmodic, anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties. They protect you from viruses and improve your memory. This fruit is also good for your skin and eyes.

Blackcurrant or forbidden fruit or Cassis, as you more commonly know it, is a deciduous shrub of the Grossulariaceae family planted for its edible berries. Its scientific name is Ribes nigrum, and it is native to temperate regions of central and northern Europe and northern Asia, where it favors damp fertile soils. It is widely grown, both commercially and domestically.

Vitamin C and polyphenols are particularly abundant in raw fruit. Although blackcurrants can be eaten raw, they are more commonly prepared in sweet or savory dishes. They are grown commercially for the juice market and are used to manufacture jams, preserves, and syrups. Alcoholic beverages and colors are also made from fruit.

Blackcurrants Come in a Wide Range of Varieties

Blackcurrant variants can be found all over the world. In practically every blackcurrant-growing country, new varieties are being developed. Making the best pick from over 150 cultivars is undoubtedly difficult. The following are some of the most popular and widely available blackcurrant varieties:

Ben Connan

Despite the fact that this is the heaviest cropper of all the blackcurrant kinds, the plants are compact and do not sprawl. The berries are larger than average, and they have exceptional disease resistance.

Crusader

Crusader blackcurrants are a rust-resistant type that yields medium-sized fruit on a regular basis. The berries have thicker skin and a higher acid content than other berries. This implies they store well and decompose more slowly.

Ben Sarek

The berries on the Ben Sarek are larger and sweeter than most. Large berries can be an issue because they can weigh down branches, requiring some light support to prevent them from breaking. Ben Sarek is unlikely to be impacted by late frosts because the flower is produced late in the year (but not as late as Ben Lomond). It thrives in practically all sections of the UK, though those in the further south may prefer to choose a different type. This is a low-growing type with a compact shape that rarely exceeds 1.2m / 4ft in height. It has some mildew resistance.

Ben Hope

It’s a highly popular blackcurrant varietal and with good cause. It was originally available for purchase in 1988, making it a novel variety. It possesses exceptional resistance to gall mite or the big bud mite, which affects a wide range of other plants. It’s a cross between several blackcurrants and a gooseberry plant; thus it has a lot of resistance! Ben Hope is a very robust grower, and even if it has a pest or disease, the plant’s strength is adequate to overcome the problem. It is adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions. You’ll have a bullet-proof grower if you keep the roots of this type thoroughly mulched. The bushes grow to a height and spread of 2m / 6ft, which allows for slightly more room than other types. Ben Hope is resistant to mildew and leaf spot, as well as other pests and diseases.

This makes it an excellent choice for folks who dislike putting pesticides and other chemicals on their fruits. The fruits are medium in size and have high yields; the flavor is excellent in pies, jams, and other dishes, and it’s good to sprinkle over breakfast cereal. The plant grows erect, making harvesting the fruit a pleasurable experience.

Ben Lomond

The main advantage of Ben Lomond is that its blossoms appear later in the spring, reducing the impact of late frosts. It also thrives in cooler climates, where it benefits from a harsh winter. As a result, this type will thrive in the Midlands and other cooler parts of the UK.

Ben Lomond had strong mildew resistance when it was first released. However, that resistance has drastically decreased over time. Pruning effectively will help to reduce the risk of mildew. After four or five years, the bush will be around 1.5m (412ft) tall, dense, and nicely formed. The fruit is abundant in vitamin C and has an excellent flavor for pies and drinks. The fruit lasts longer than others when left on the shrub, and the berries are large and firm. The yields are very high. You should prune your mildew problem every year and leave the middle of the bush exposed to promote good air circulation. This selection is readily available in stores and on the internet.

Big Ben

Because it was produced particularly for some garden markets, this cultivar is a recent arrival that is unlikely to ever be found in your store. The berries measure roughly 2.3 grams on average and are wonderful eaten straight from the bush

Ebony

Simply said, this blackcurrant variety is the sweetest of all the blackcurrant types. Just like a raspberry, eat right from the bush. This type is best eaten raw because it lacks flavor when cooked. If you’re going to cook with it or make jam with it, use less sugar than usual. These berries are larger than typical and ready to consume as early as early July, making them the earliest of all blackcurrant kinds. The plant isn’t very vigorous, and it spreads a little wider than usual, but it quickly establishes itself and begins to bear fruit after a year or two. It has medium disease resistance, especially when it comes to mildew, but it is sensitive to botrytis.

Titania

Titania is a relatively new variety bred in Sweden with some extremely valuable characteristics. It’s a fast-growing plant that takes only three years to mature. Because of its vigorous growth, it thrives on light soils and those with poor nitrogen levels.

Foxendown

This cultivar, which has only been available in the UK for a few years, offers outstanding disease resistance to practically all blackcurrant diseases. Give this variety a try if you’ve had trouble growing blackcurrants in the past. The berries are medium in size and plentiful. Because the bushes grow erect, picking is easier than usual. It grows earlier in the season.

Consort

Consort fruits are smaller, but they have the same strong, distinctive flavor as the other fruits. The bushes produce for lengthy periods of time, with equally ripening fruits. They are resistant to the disease that affects white pine trees.

Ben Tirran

This blackcurrant variety is the first to bear fruit of all the blackcurrant kinds, and it is frost-resistant. Although the berries are smaller than typical, the overall yield is high.

Grow Your Favorite Blackcurrant Varieties in Your Home Garden

Blackcurrants on a gray background.

It can be difficult to add fruit trees to your yard, but blackcurrants are one of the easiest, yet underappreciated, fruit shrubs to plant. Growing blackcurrants is a simple, low-maintenance way to give your family tasty, dark purple to black fruits. Nothing beats the taste of homegrown fruit, but the task of raising it can be daunting. Blackcurrants, on the other hand, are a different story.

Not only are these fruits high in vitamin C, but they will also provide you with pies, jams, and other delectable delicacies in the future.

Let’s take a look at what it takes to cultivate blackcurrants in your garden.

Choose the Best Location in Your Garden

Unlike many other vegetables, blackcurrants do not require direct sunshine. They love areas with plenty of morning sun and afternoon shade, which protects them from the blazing heat of the afternoon.

They can even grow in the shade. However, the yield will be lower. However, you should keep an eye out for frost pockets in your home. Frost pockets are regions that frost more easily than others, usually due to a lack of sunlight or morning sunlight.

Blackcurrants and the Right Soil

After you’ve chosen the ideal location, make sure you have the proper soil on hand for the blackcurrants to thrive in. When the plants are in rich, fertile soil with plenty of humus, they yield the best results. Before planting, make sure the soil is well-composted. It’s also a good idea to check the pH of the soil; blackcurrants prefer a pH between 6 and 6.5. Despite the fact that they can handle heavy clay or poorly-drained soil better than most other fruit plants, if you want a large crop, give them the soil they want.

When Should Blackcurrants Be Planted?

Blackcurrants should be planted in the spring; they are cold-hardy, so you can place them outside even if your last frost date hasn’t passed. It’s time to start planting when other plants begin to emerge from their dormancy. It’s best to plant blackcurrants in late fall if you’re going to cultivate your bushes from bare-root plants.

Each plant requires a lot of area. Maintain a distance of 3 feet between each plant and each row. Dig a hole slightly deeper than the nursery pot containing your plant once you’ve found your spot and modified the soil. Place it in the hole, burying it at least as deep as it grew in the container. It’s a good idea to cover some of the stems with soil to help the plant establish. Water your plants thoroughly once they’ve been buried. This aids in the establishment of the roots in the ground. Mulch around the base of your plant after watering to help keep the soil moist and cool. Planting bare-root bushes should be done during the dormant season. You’ll simply need to water them lightly to settle them into the soil.

Blackcurrants are abundant in Vitamins A and C, and potassium, phosphorus, and calcium are abundant. They’re delicious when eaten raw, canned into jam, or baked into pies. They also taste wonderful cooked with seafood, poultry, or beef if you want to get inventive. This year, consider growing blackcurrants in your garden if you want to have local fruits. Blackcurrant bushes take a few years to bear fruit, but once they do, they’re prolific. There will be so many berries that you won’t know what to do with them.

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