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Ribes Alpinum, also called the Alpine Currant or Mountain Currant, is a deciduous shrub originating in northern Europe, thriving in the wild in rocky places and in shady woods. It can be very long-living; one plant in the UK is more than 300 years old! Its bright green leaves have 3-5 lobes, and turn yellow in autumn. The small but fragrant flowers, yellow-green, appear in April and attract bees and butterflies. If you have both male and female plants, the flowers will be followed by bright red berries, which while not suitable for human use, will attract birds to your garden. If you just plant male Alpine Currants, you will have a reliable green hedging plant with no fruits. This shrub is notable for maintaining full foliage right down to ground level.
Height and Spread of Ribes Alpinum Alpine Currant will grow to a mature height and spread of 1.8 metres.
How Hardy Is Ribes Alpinum Mountain Currant is fully hardy in the UK and across northern Europe.
How to Use Ribes Alpinum Alpine Currant is a reliable and hardy hedging plant for UK gardens. A row of these native shrubs, planted 0.5 – 1.5 metres apart, will create a dense hedge which will provide considerable privacy, whether left to grow unpruned in a country cottage garden style or trimmed for a more formal look. You can also include a few scattered Mountain Currants throughout a mixed native hedge to add variety of foliage, or add one to your foundation planting. Mix for example with native Hornbeam hedging, Purple Beech hedging and evergreen Blue Angel Holly. Planted 2 metres apart on a difficult slope, whether in sun or shade, Ribes Alpinum will grow to form a dense ground cover and provide erosion control while needing little or no maintenance.
How to Care forRibes Alpinum Plant Alpine Currant in full sun, partial shade, or even full shade, in moist, well-drained sand, clay or loam soil, preferably with an acid to neutral pH. Tolerant of salt, it can be planted without special protection in coastal regions. It is also highly tolerant of urban pollution, so it does well in city locations. Deer and rabbit-resistant, Alpine Currant is a good low-maintenance choice for country properties. It can be pruned whenever it grows out of bounds during the season.
This hardy native shrub is an ideal deciduous wildlife-friendly hedging plant: dense green foliage right down to the ground makes Ribes Alpinum the perfect choice for a living wall in your garden, particularily for exposed areas.