[NAFEX] Red and Black currants for warm climes

Hal Love lovehd at comcast.net
Mon May 5 11:33:17 EDT 2008


Yes, I'm evaluating quite a few clove and golden currants. This will be the first year for any of them to fruit other than 'Crandall', so I can't make any fruit comparisons yet. These are a mixture of seedlings, both wild collected and some 'Crandall' crosses, along with some named and un-named selections from the Corvallis repository. They all handled last summer's intense heat and drought really well, were little affected by the Easter freeze, and most have had no sign of disease. They have a highly variable range of bud break, bloom and resistance of the flowers to late frosts. 'Crandall' has the latest bud break and bloom of all, but a couple of others overlapped well enough that 'Crandall' has set a huge crop this spring. In the past, the fruit set was lower and the fruit small without cross-pollination.

One seedling has a very odd habit. This is from 'Crandall' x 'Gwens'. I sent some seedlings to my father in Arkansas, and this one quickly spread over a large area, and began blooming early, and never stops blooming spring through fall. Even the suckers, that pop up several feet away, start blooming almost immediately. The fruit drop off when small, so it probably needs cross-pollination. I'll be getting some suckers from it soon, so I can see how it does here. 


----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Richard Moyer 
  To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Sunday, May 04, 2008 11:45 AM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Red and Black currants for warm climes

  Rob wrote: "Does anyone have a really good source of Black and Red currants? I have seen that most of them seem to be Zone 8 or cooler, I am right on
  zone 8 are there certain varieties I should lean towards?"

  Our currant that defoliates least in the summer heat is 'Crandall'.  This is not a European Black Currant (Ribes nigrum), but a selection of American native (Ribes odoratum).  Native through much of rockies, also down to N. Texas.  So should be able to handle your heat but still would appreciate afternoon shade.  Currant breeder Stan Pluta evaluated many black currants at the NCGR repository in Corvallis, OR, and he and Kim Hummer published an article in Fruit Varieties Journal entitled "Surprise, it's Crandall".  You can get a copy through interlibrary loan.
  Hidden Springs Nursery and Edible Landscaping have both offered 'Crandall' in the past.  Both have SE US humidity, so should be a good testing ground for Red Currants you might want to try as well.

  If you search this list archives, much more info on 'Crandall' there.

  Hal Love is working with currants in TN, if I remember right, so he's worth asking as well.  As are Adam and Sue Turtle.

  Richard Moyer



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