Alpine Currant, or "Ribes alpinum," is considered a desert tropical, despite its need for regular watering and its origin in Europe, which is not a country known for its desert regions. This hardy and elegant plant can survive and thrive in a great variety of climates and both the male and female of the genus produce lovely bell-like yellowish green blossoms during the spring and summer blooming season.
Alpine Currant is fairly resistant to many of the pests and fungi which plague gardens, and deer and other hungry prowlers stay far away. The female of the genus will produce bright red berries that turn into red fruit in the presence of a pollinating male Alpine Currant plant, although it can be a challenge to find female Alpine Currant plants on the commercial garden market.
Alpine Currant is a peculiarly hardy and resilient plant, uncaring of soil pH, uncomplaining in temperatures as low as 50 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. The plant produces a relatively round shape naturally which regular pruning can enhance. It grows to a maximum height of five feet without pruning. Because of the denseness of the foliage, Alpine Currant can be an excellent choice for landscaping needs that include masking or privacy. It is also a great choice for large areas where continuous foliage is desired.
Alpine Currant thrives in full sunlight, especially during the blooming months, but can do equally well in the shade. While resistant to disease, it can fall prey to mildew and fungi. Urban and rural areas experience equal success cultivating Alpine Currant, and the red berries produced during flowering season will attract a great variety of local birds who love to feast on them, making bird-watching accessible right from the gardener's own backyard. Alpine Currant is an ideal and attractive choice for beginning and experienced gardeners alike.