'Crandall' Black Currant
Here is a stellar plant that is beautiful, as well as edible and good for the birds. This Black Currant is woefully under utilized, perhaps people haven't eaten a currant before or not visited the nursery when they are in bloom. But come visit in April and you will see a drift of them planted in part shade in our drought tolerant display garden. Ideally close enough to the rock pile for little hands to pick the fruit when they ripen in summer. And beckoning you for a closer look with their clove scented, yellow blooms. Appealing to hummingbirds and butterflies, the flowers develop into black, round fruit that are tart/sweet with a more mild currant flavor and especially high in Vitamin C. My daughter loves to pick them fresh but they can be made into preserves or baked goods or dried. Then the fall brings out gorgeous red fall color. Most currants would appreciate a spot out of extreme heat but will tolerate full sun with good water. Part shade or morning sun is ideal. They will get 4-5' tall and wide. Currants can be drought tolerant once established and do best in a well-draining but compost-rich soil. They can be a great addition to a mixed use garden- full of edible and ornamental power!