- For the commune of the Ardèche in southern France, see Ribes, Ardèche.
Ribes is a genus of about 150 species of flowering plants, usually treated as the only genus in the family Grossulariaceae. The genus is native throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Ribes includes the currants, including the edible currants (blackcurrant, redcurrant and whitecurrant), gooseberries, and many ornamental plants. The Ribes currant should not be confused with the Zante currant grape.
Currants are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species; see list of Lepidoptera that feed on currants.
Seven subgenera are recognised. A few taxonomists place the gooseberry species in a separate genus, Grossularia, despite the Jostaberry gooseberry/blackcurrant hybrid.
There are restrictions on growing Ribes species in many US states as they are a host for White Pine Blister Rust.
Blackfoot Indians used blackcurrant root (Ribes hudsonianum)
for the treatment of kidney diseases and menstrual and menopausal problems. Cree Indians used the fruit of Ribes glandulosum
as a fertility enhancer to assist women in becoming pregnant. Currant root and seeds are high in gamma-linolenic acid
, also called GLA
. GLA has been clinically verified as an effective treatment for pre-menstrual syndrome.