Alpine currant (Ribes alpinum) is a hardy, low mounded shrub commonly used as a hedge. Plants are tolerant of full sun to full shade. Very low maintenance with no ornamental appeal than its dense green foliage.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All common names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
- Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 2,
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Alkaline soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Occasional drought,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil,
- Road salt
Season of Interest:
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size & form
A rounded twiggy deciduous shrub reaching 3 to 6 feet high and 6 to 7 feet wide.
Often used as an informal hedge.
Tree & Plant Care
Full sun to full shade in moist well-drained soils, but adaptable to soil pH, clay, compacted, dry soils.
Responds well to pruning, can be sheared.
Very winter hardy.
Disease, pests, and problems
Leaf spots, aphids, scale, rust, anthracnose
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Clay, drought, dry soil, wind, alkaline soil, rabbits
Native geographic location and habitat
Europe and Russia
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Birds and butterflies
Bark color and texture
Light gray-brown to tan, older stems exfoliate.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, ovate with 3 to 5 lobes, 1 to 2 inches long,
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Dioecious, separate male and female plants. Insignificant greenish-yellow.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
On female plants only, scarlet, juicy berry.
Cultivars and their differences
Dwarf Alpine Currant (Ribes alpinum 'Pumilum'): male, 2 to 3 feet high.
Green Jeans™ Alpine Currant (Ribes alpinum 'Spreg'): female, 3 to 5 feet high and wide, glossy dark green foliage.