Ribes triste

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Ribes triste
Bottomdollar99730 - Northern Red Currant.jpg
Ribes triste 6 (5098098380).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Grossulariaceae
Genus: Ribes
R. triste
Binomial name
Ribes triste
Pall. 1797 not Turcz. 1837
  • Coreosma tristis (Pall.) Lunell
  • Ribes albinervium Michx.
  • Ribes ciliosum Howell
  • Ribes melancholicum Siev. ex Pall.
  • Ribes propinquum Turcz.
  • Ribes rubrum var. propinquum Trautv. & C.A. Mey.
  • Ribes repens A.I. Baranov

Ribes triste, known as the northern redcurrant,[2] swamp redcurrant, or wild redcurrant,[3] is an Asian and North American shrub in the gooseberry family. It is widespread across Canada and the northern United States, as well as in eastern Asia (Russia, China, Korea, Japan).[4][5]

Ribes triste grows in wet rocky woods, swamps, and cliffs. It grows to 50 cm (20 in) tall, with a lax, often creeping branches. The leaves are alternate, palmately lobed with five lobes, 6–10 cm (2 14–4 in) in diameter. The flowers are in pendulous racemes, 4–7 cm (1 122 34 in) long. The axis of the raceme is glandular. Each raceme bears 6-13 small, purplish flowers that appear in June and July. The fruit is a bright red berry, without the hairs that some currants have. The fruit is edible but rather sour.[6]

Conservation status in the United States[edit]

It is listed as endangered in Connecticut[7] and Ohio, and as threatened in Pennsylvania.[8]

As a weed[edit]

Ribes is listed a plant pest in Michigan and the planting of it in certain parts of the state is prohibited.[8]

Native American ethnobotany[edit]

As cuisine[edit]

Alaska Natives use the fruit as food, eating it raw, and making the berries into jam and jellies.[9] Eskimos eat the berries[10] and the Inupiat eat them raw or cooked, mix them with other berries which are used to make a traditional dessert. They also mix the berries with rosehips and highbush cranberries and boil them into a syrup.[11] The Iroquois mash the fruit, make them into small cakes, and store them for future use. They later soak the fruit cakes in warm water and cooked them a sauce or mixed them with corn bread. They also sun dry or fire dry the raw or cooked fruit for future use and take the dried fruit with them as a hunting food.[12] The Ojibwe eat the berries raw, and also preserve them by cooking them, spreading them on birch bark into little cakes, which are dried and stored for winter use.[13] In the winter, they often eat the berries with cooked with sweet corn. They also use the berries to make jams and preserves.[14] The Upper Tanana eat the berries as food.[15]

Medicinal use[edit]

The Ojibwe take a decoction of the root and stalk for 'gravel',[16] and take a compound decoction of the stalk for 'stoppage of periods',[17] and use them leaves as a 'female remedy'.[18] The Upper Tanana use a decoction of the stems, without the bark, as a wash for sore eyes.[15]


  1. ^ "Ribes triste". Tropicos. Missouri Botanical Gardens – via The Plant List.
  2. ^ Ulev, Elena D. (2006). "Ribes triste". Fire Effects Information System (FEIS). US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service (USFS), Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory – via https://www.feis-crs.org/feis/.
  3. ^ "Ribes triste Pall., swamp red currant, wild red currant". Canada's Plant Hardiness Site. Natural Resources Canada.
  4. ^ "Ribes triste". State-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014.
  5. ^ Lu, Lingdi; Alexander, Crinan. "Ribes triste". Flora of China. 8 – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  6. ^ Morin, Nancy R. (2009). "Ribes triste". In Flora of North America Editorial Committee. Flora of North America North of Mexico (FNA). 8. New York and Oxford – via eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
  7. ^ "Connecticut's Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern Species 2015" (PDF). State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Bureau of Natural Resources. Retrieved 19 January 2018. (Note: This list is newer than the one used by plants.usda.gov and is more up-to-date.)
  8. ^ a b "Ribes triste". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  9. ^ Heller, Christine A. (1953). Edible and Poisonous Plants of Alaska. University of Alaska. p. 87.
  10. ^ Anderson, J. P. (1939). "Plants Used by the Eskimo of the Northern Bering Sea and Arctic Regions of Alaska". American Journal of Botany. 26: 715.
  11. ^ Jones, Anore (1983). Nauriat Niginaqtuat = Plants That We Eat. Kotzebue, Alaska: Maniilaq Association Traditional Nutrition Program. p. 105.
  12. ^ Waugh, F. W. (1916). Iroquis Foods and Food Preparation. Ottawa: Canada Department of Mines. p. 128.
  13. ^ Densmore 1928, p. 321.
  14. ^ Smith 1932, p. 410.
  15. ^ a b Kari 1985, p. 11.
  16. ^ Densmore 1928, p. 348.
  17. ^ Densmore 1928, p. 358.
  18. ^ Smith 1932, p. 389.


  • Densmore, Frances (1928). "Uses of Plants by the Chippewa Indians". SI-BAE Annual Report. 44.
  • Smith, Huron H. (1932). "Ethnobotany of the Ojibwe Indians". Bulletin of the Public Museum of Milwaukee. 4.
  • Kari, Priscilla Russe (1985). Upper Tanana Ethnobotany. Anchorage: Alaska Historical Commission.