Why plant Audubon® Native Golden Currant?
Smells like spring! Clove Currant ushers in the spring season with a bevy of yellow blossoms that give off a powerful, spicy-sweet clove fragrance. Every year, you’ll look forward to the moment when you get that first delicious whiff. In summer, birds will look forward to the black fruits that form on female plants. Cedar Waxwings, robins, catbirds, and Brown Thrashers are some of the many songbirds that relish the juicy berries. Drawn by the thickety growth and ready supply of food, some songbirds may even choose to nest in Clove Currant and raise a family.
Clove Currant is also known as Golden Currant, for its brilliant yellow flowers, and as Buffalo Currant, for its native range. It originally grew only on the Great Plains, though humans have helped it naturalize to other states. Currants are not as common as they once were, due to an unfortunate story. In the 1920s and ’30s, thousands of Currants and Gooseberries were destroyed because they were found to be an alternate host for White Pine blister rust, a devastating imported fungal disease that kills Pine Trees. Clove Currant is not as vulnerable to the disease as the more popular European Black Currant, but it is susceptible.
How to use Audubon® Native Golden Currant in the landscape?
If the birds leave you any fruits, you may want to eat them yourself! Clove Currant berries are tart, but they are very nutritious and are high in vitamins and antioxidants. You can eat them fresh or bake them into pies, tarts, and jellies. This species is thornless, so picking is pain-free.
Hardiness Zone: 4-8
How To Plant Audubon® Native Golden Currant
Native to the Great Plains, Clove Currant is well adapted to sunny, dry conditions. It is tough and dependable, and quite drought-tolerant once established. This is a naturally suckering plant, so put it in a place where it won’t encroach on other plants. This is also a dioecious plant, which means that male and female flowers appear on separate plants. Only female Clove Currants will bear fruit, and only if a male partner is nearby to pollinate it. Check with your local extension service about the prevalence of White Pine blister rust in your area before planting. Currant plants are banned in some states.
How To Fertilize
Incorporate Elements Starter Plant food granular form into the soil when planting. If planting in spring or summer, start fertilizing late fall using Elements Starter Plant food granular form on an annual basis each late fall. Continue this for the first three years to get your plant well established.