Green Currants

Green currants with green-yellow or green fruits, which remain so even after full maturity, are not yet as popular with gardeners as black or red ones. This is not fully deserved, because the berries of green currants are delicious and fragrant, in addition, do not have a specific smell, as in blackcurrant varieties, which not everyone likes. And meanwhile, this berry crop is not a separate species, but a green currant variety.

Green currants
Green currant. © © © ©

How did green currants appear in Russia?

The story of how currants with an unusual color appeared in Russia has several versions. According to one version, not quite an ordinary crop was bred by Siberian breeders in the 30s of the last century. For some reason, no one appreciated the novelty and it was almost forgotten. But European scientists became interested in the unconventional plant. On the basis of Siberian exotics (Russian gardening professionals called it so - Zelenoberodnaya) breeders from Finland and Germany bred new varieties, which later got back to Russia.

Other version does not deny the first, but supplements it with information: green currants came to Russia in the 19th century, when foreign varieties, in particular from the Nordic countries - Norway, Finland, Sweden, began to be brought into the country. Among them, there were plants not only with black berries, but with white-yellow and green. Thus European subspecies of black currant with green fruits found themselves not only in the European part of Russia, but also in Siberia, where in time the best variety with an unusual coloring was selected.

Green currants
Green-fruited currant "Vertti. © J. Albert Vallunen

The best known varieties of green-fruited currants

Wertti green-fruited currants

Wertti is the best known among the foreign varieties. The berries are not distinguished by beauty, but this "disadvantage" is compensated by excellent taste and aroma. The bush begins to bear fruit after the first year of life, the berries ripen in the second half of the summer season. The Russian climate Wertti tolerates quite well, although with prolonged frosts below -30 degrees the flower buds may suffer. The positive qualities include a very good resistance to diseases, especially those caused by fungi. This variety of green currants is extremely rarely attacked by mites - spider or bud mites, which sometimes cause great trouble to bushes with black berries.

Russian scientists in the recent past again paid attention to green currants and bred several excellent varieties. Among them, the best can be called Emerald Necklace, Tear of Isis, Gold of the Incas, Snow Queen.

The Emerald Necklace green currant

Domestic green-fruit varieties resist diseases and mites not worse than foreign, almost all of them have excellent winter-hardiness. An undoubted advantage - they almost always have large berries, which in terms of vitamins and other useful substances are not inferior to black fruits. The taste of green currants is sour-sweet and very pleasant. In addition, it is much less likely to cause allergies than black currants. Because of the rather low sugar content, the berry is useful for people suffering from diabetes.

Fruits have an excellent taste not only in fresh form. For example, when frozen they almost do not lose their useful qualities, retain their color and flavor.

There are also other domestic varieties of green currants: Gold of the Incas, Tear of Isis.

Green currants
Green currants

Conditions for growing green currants

For normal development of seedlings, they must provide certain conditions. Green-fruited currants prefer open, not swamped areas with fertile loose soil. Even a little shade will affect the size and taste of berries, making them small and sour.

The basic rules concerning the care of the plant are the same as for other varieties of blackcurrant. During drought, green currant bushes should be watered, fertilized in time, sanitary and rejuvenating pruning should be done, weeds should be removed, the soil under the bushes should be kept loose, the ground surface should be covered with mulch to preserve moisture, and, if necessary, sprayed with drugs against diseases and pests.

As green-currant is much less in demand than black currants, seedlings are not so easy to buy. They are not always available even in fruit farms. But those gardeners who managed to find and grow green currants, undoubtedly, did not regret and personally convinced of its excellent qualities.

For more information about green currants, see the author's website - Gardener.

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