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Ribes rubrum ‘Rovada’ March 2018 Know What You Grow

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.

Red Currant Shrub Red Currant Rovada Trained

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.

FAMILY Grossulariaceae

HEIGHT  5 feet

WIDTH   5 feet

HABIT Upright

ZONES  3 to 7

EXPOSURE Full Shade to Partial Shade

FLOWER COLOR  Greenish white and really small


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.