Home Fruit Plantings: Gooseberry and Currant Variety Selection

Listing of gooseberry and currant that are less susceptible to being the alternate host for White pine blister rust.
Home Fruit Plantings: Gooseberry and Currant Variety Selection - Articles


If you have white pine nearby, you may want to consider growing less-susceptible types of Ribes. Black currant (Ribes nigrum) is by far the most susceptible, and for this reason many areas outside of Pennsylvania still prohibit growing it. Resistant black currant varieties are available. Red and white currants are less susceptible, and gooseberry is the least susceptible.


Captivator is an American-European hybrid that produces large, sweet, pinkish-red fruit. Plants are resistant to mildew.


Sold most often and is very productive and hardy, but the fruit is of only fair quality. Fruit is best if harvested slightly underripe. Plants are mildew-resistant.


Red-fruited, large, and flavorful. It ripens fruit over a long season and is the best variety of the American types for the home gardens since it is vigorous and has fewer and smaller thorns than most varieties. It is resistant to powdery mildew.

Several European varieties are available from specialty nurseries. The fruit of the European types usually is larger and better flavored; however, the varieties without resistance to powdery mildew can be devastated by the strains of the fungus found in the United States.

Hinnonmaki Red

Has a tart skin but sweet, aromatic flesh. Plants are moderately vigorous and partially resistant to mildew.


Has large, pale-green fruit and less flavor than most European types. Plants are large and have many spines. Has good resistance to powdery mildew.

Currents (Red)


Matures early. Fruit is large and dark red, but vigor and productivity is only medium.

Jonkeers Van Tets

Produces heavy yields. Fruit is dark red and has a very good flavor. Resistant to mildew and aphids; susceptible to botrytis.

Red Lake

A vigorous, hardy, and productive variety. The fruit is large, bright red when mature, and of good quality. The long-stemmed clusters are easy to pick. Susceptible to powdery mildew.


A dependable producer. It blooms and fruits late, so frost is less of a problem than with other varieties. Resistant to powdery mildew and other leaf diseases.


Very much like Red Lake--high yielding with good-quality berries. Has more resistance to leaf spot.

Currants (white and pink)


Dependable and produces heavy yields. Plants are vigorous and easy to grow.

Pink Champagne

Has good quality and flavor. As the name indicates, fruit is an interesting shade of pink, but yields tend to be low.


Produces fruit late in the season. Plants are vigorous. Similar to Blanka in most characteristics, but yields are slightly lower.

White Imperial

Has low acidity and produces moderate yields. Plants have a spreading habit.

Currants (black)

Only varieties with good resistance to white pine blister rust are listed below.


Produces a medium crop of small to medium fruit. Plants are self-fertile. Though resistant to white pink blister rust, this variety is susceptible to leaf spots and mildew.


Yields are usually low and fruit is of marginal quality. A pollinator is required.


Only marginally productive, and quality is low. A pollinator is required.


Produces heavy crops of large, high-quality fruit. Has very high resistance to white pine blister rust.

Currants (clove or buffalo)


A native species of currant that is sometimes considered more closely related to the gooseberries than currants. Valued for its highly fragrant blossoms.