Even though we have had twenty inches of snow in the last two weeks here in Minnesota spring arrives March 20th. Everyone is looking forward to some colors other than the drab grays, browns, and whites with a free dark green evergreens. Since I missed the past few months of posting plants due to my winter hibernation I will be featuring a early spring beauties that will help you forget the long winter you have just endured. With variety of pollinators emerging in spring it is important to provide various type of plants so I will feature one shrub, Ribes rubrum ‘Rovada’ which has the added benefit of providing tart red berries come summer. The following post will feature a bulb and a perennial.
BOTANICAL NAME Ribes rubrum ‘Rovada’
COMMON NAME Rovada Red Currant
DESCRIPTION Cultivar of a Minnesota understory native shrub with white flowers in spring followed by bright red fruit that is harvested in September. Medium green leaves are 3-5 lobed and are fragrant when crushed. Tart berries can be eaten off the stem but are usually used to make jams, jellies, and pies.
HEIGHT 5 feet
WIDTH 5 feet
ZONES 3 to 7
EXPOSURE Full Shade to Partial Shade
FLOWER COLOR Greenish white and really small
BLOOM SEASON Spring
COMPANION PLANTS Rose caroliniana, Chelone, woodland plants
GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS Does best in average garden soils with a pH of 6 to 6.5. Prune to shape. Best fruit production is on two-year-old branches. Appreciated mulch around the roots. Remove stems older than three years.
NOTES Woodland garden. High wildlife value. Streams and ponds. Edible.