Ribes glaciale is an unarmed, deciduous shrub; it usually grows 200 - 300cm tall, occasionally reaching 500cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
E. Asia - central and southern China, Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, northern Myanmar
Forests and shrubberies; at elevations from 2,600 - 4,400 metres[
]. Forests and thickets in mountain valleys, mountain slopes and rocks; at elevations from 1,900 - 3,000 metres[
Species in this genus are generally easy to grow, preferring a position in sun (where they fruit best) or moderate shade and succeeding in most moist but well-drained soils of at least moderate fertility[
White pine blister rust, caused by the pathogen Cronartium ribicola, is a fungal disease that is native to Asia but has spread via human activity to many other regions, where it has become more virulent. It has a complex life-cycle that requires both currants (Ribes species) and white pines (Pinus species of the section Strobus) for the disease to spread. Whilst Ribes species can generally live with the disease (it has an annual life-cycle and infects the leaves only) Pinus species can be devastated by it (it becomes perennial and spreads through the tree). Young pines are far more susceptible than mature trees. In America the growing of certain Ribes species is banned in some areas in order to protect plantations of white pine species.
Plants in this genus tend to be notably susceptible to honey fungus[
This species is dioecious[
]. Both male and female plants must be grown if fruit is required, one male plant being sufficient to fertilize about 5- 6 female plants[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The ripe fruit is edible[
]. The fruit is extremely sour[
]. The sour tasting, orange to red, subglobose fruit is around 5 - 7mm in diameter[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 4 - 5 months cold stratification at between 0 to 9°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible[
]. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame[
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year's growth, late autumn to late winter in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors[