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Jostaberry is a cross between the black currant and gooseberry, but it is more vigorous than either parent. Thorn-free, disease resistant and self-pollinating! It looks just like a gooseberry until it turns nearly black & ripens. Excellent for eating fresh or as jam, juice, wine & in cordials. The first cultivar was made available to the public in 1977. Jostaberry plants are also resistant to troublesome pests and diseases – a trait of its hybrid vigor (outperforming its parents). Jostaberry plants are cold-hardy and grow well in northern gardens, even tolerating partial shade. The ripe fruit will hang on the bush in good condition through late summer, but is very popular with birds. The somewhat unripe fruit can be used in cooking recipes as a gooseberry. Like black currants the fruit freezes well, and like many other members of the Ribes genus it is rich in Vitamin C.

The fruit will be fully ripe when it turns to a dark blue-black and each fruit has a slight “give” to it. Lift up the end of the branch with one hand and pick the string of berries with the other hand. As the fruit does not seem to ripen all at once, several pickings may be required in July and August. Suggested uses for Jostaberries, are in pies, crumbles, ice creams, jams, wine and liqueurs.

Plant Details +

Botanical Ribes 'nidigrolaria'
Family Grossulariaceae
Height 4-6'
Spacing 5'
Hardiness Zones 3-8
Exposure Full sun
Foliage Green
Fruit Dark red to nearly blue-black when ripe
Harvest Mid to Late Summer

Planting/Care Instructions +

Planting Instructions: May be planted in any well-drained soil. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. Set the plant in place so the crown (part of the plant where the root meets the stem) is about 2 inches below the soil surface. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly.

Pests or Diseases: The great advantage of the Jostaberry is that it is resistant to American Gooseberry Mildew, gall mite, blackcurrant leaf spot, and the White Pine Blister Ant. The fruits are the size of a large Blackcurrant, and are high in vitamin C.