Noted for its high fruit quality and high content of vitamin C, Ribes nigrum 'Ben Lomond' is a compact Black Currant for culinary or dessert use. This deciduous shrub produces clusters of pale green flowers in spring. It tolerates lower temperatures during bloom, making this cultivar a good choice for frosty sites. The blossoms are followed by a heavy crop of drooping clusters of large, edible, shiny black currants which ripen evenly in early-mid summer. Rich of an intense flavor, the fruits can be eaten fresh from the shrub or can be used in sophisticated foods, drinks and desserts. The canes are compact, spreading, and moderately vigorous. They are clothed in attractive, ovate, 3-5 lobed, blue-green leaves that turn yellow in fall. This plant is self-fertile and reported to have winter hardiness, resistance to late-spring frosts and high yields. Moderately tolerant of powdery mildew.
- Grows up to 4-5 ft. tall and wide (120-150 cm).
- A full sun to part shade lover, this plant is easily grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Prefers full sun but appreciates some shade in hot summer areas. Site in a location protected from strong winter winds and frost pockets.
- May take 4-5 years for the plant to become well-established and reach full fruit-bearing potential.
- Attracts scores of butterflies and birds but is ignored by rabbits.
- Keep an eye out for gall mites, gall midges and aphids.
- Prune as needed during the dormant season.
- Propagate by hardwood cuttings.