[NAFEX] Dioecious Crandall?

Jim Fruth jfruth at uslink.net
Thu Jan 4 11:15:35 EST 2007

    My Crandall bloomed a few weeks after my other black currants so there 
was no chance of cross pollination.  Dioecious?  Not mine; they had perfect 
flowers.  I had six plants and they all produced profusely.  Regarding 
flavor, I enjoyed eating Crandall fruit fresh off the plant whereas I do not 
like the raw flavor of regular black currants.  In jelly, Crandall lacked 
the intense flavor of the other.

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
(218)568-8483 [Store]
(218)831-7018 [My Cell]

I appreciate all the comments about these native black currants (I've
also seen them listed as Ribes aureum, var. 'Crandall'), but there are
two things I wasn't able to determine last year (before I joined the
NAFEX list). I planted some of these anyway, but could I get some help
on these questions, please?

1.   For best fruit production, do you prune them like other Ribes
(remove three year and older stems)?

2.   I received nothing but conflicting information about these plants.
Several nurseries told me that the 'Crandall' variety of /Ribes
odoratum/ (clove currant, buffalo currant, golden currant, etc.) would
set fruit with just one plant. But the Missouri Botanical Garden says
Ribes odoratum is dioecious, requiring both a male and a female plant to
set fruit. Apparently, this comes from the reference work, "A Manual of
Woody Landscape Plants" by Michael A. Dirr.

Does anyone here know for sure?  Have you seen separate male and female
plants?  Or perhaps it's dioecious, but the female plants will still set
"some" fruit without a male?

At least one nursery told me that "cross-pollination" would increase
fruit production, and that a Ribes nigrum type of black currant would
work for that (and maybe other Ribes species?). If that's true,
I suppose all these nurseries could be seeing fruit from Ribes odoratum
because they have other Ribes planted nearby...

I ended up buying from two different nurseries, but I was totally
confused by then. So I planted 6 of the 'Crandall' currants and one
seedling clove currant, just in case. But, of course, I don't know if
the seedling currant is male or female, or even if they really ARE
dioecious. Anyone know for sure?

Thanks much,


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