Grossularia stenocarpa (Maxim.) Berger
Ribes stenocarpum is a spiny deciduous shrub; it usually grows 100 - 200cm tall, exceptionally to 300cm[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
E. Asia - northwestern China.
Coniferous or mixed forests, thickets on mountain slopes and ravines; at elevations from 2,300 - 3,300 metres[
Ribes stenocarpum is very cold hardy, when dormant it can tolerate temperatures falling to around -20°c[
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality[
]. Plants are quite tolerant of shade though do not fruit so well in such a position[
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[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. A gooseberry with a pleasant but quite strongly acid flavour and a hairy skin[
]. It hangs well on the plant if the birds leave it alone and can be harvested into October[
]. The later it is harvested then the less acid the fruit is[
]. The red or green-tinged red oblong fruit is about 25mm long and 10mm wide[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification at between 0 and 5°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[