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Ribes americanum is a species of flowering plant in the gooseberry family known by the common names American black currant, wild black currant, and eastern black currant. It is native to North America, where it occurs in the central and eastern parts of Canada and the United States. The fruit of this plant is known for being made into jam and jelly.[1] It has also been introduced to northern China.[2]

This plant is a shrub growing 0.5 to 1.5 meters in height. The branches are erect and bear deciduous leaves. There are no spines. The plant may form thickets.[3] The glandular leaves are up to 7[2] or 8 centimeters long[1] and have three to five lobes. They turn red and gold in the fall.[3] The inflorescence is a spreading or drooping raceme of up to 15 flowers. Each flower has reflexed white or greenish sepals a few millimeters long and smaller whitish petals. The fruit is a smooth rounded berry about a centimeter wide and edible when cooked.[2] The plant reproduces mostly by seed.[1]

This shrub grows in a variety of ecosystems. It occurs in many types of forests and in conifer bogs. In Manitoba it can be found in marshes. In Michigan and Minnesota it is invasive in sedge meadows. It grows on plains and in mountains and sometimes in disturbed areas such as roadsides. It is shade-tolerant, growing in the understory of closed-canopy woodlands and forests.[1]

This plant is an alternate host for the white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola), the vector of a pine tree disease. It is sometimes eradicated in attempts to control the rust.[1]

 

Written on June 20th, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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