The jostaberry is a thorn less plant which looks like black currant in growth, but with leaves similar, yet larger than the gooseberry was developed by Dr Rudolph Bauer at Max-Planck Institute in Cologne Germany around 1970. The name Jostaberry was created via combining the German words for blackcurrant and gooseberry, namely Johannisbeere (“Jo”) and Stachelbeere (“Sta”). Following German pronunciation of “J”, it may be pronounced “yostaberry” in English. Jostaberries should be planted on rich, well drained, slightly acidic soil. They prefer sunny positions, protected from strong winds. Jostaberries tolerate colder climate, however, late spring frost can damage the flowers.
Jostaberry bushes begin to crop well after two years, and up to 4-5kg fruit per bush is possible. Sometimes, the Jostaberry bushes won’t bear good quantities of fruit until they are 4 or 5 years old. Many people give up on their bushes. The berries can be red or black. They look like gooseberries at first, but as they ripen they turn dark purple like black currants. The longer the fruit are left on the plant the better, as this seems to increase the sugar content. Jostaberries are an excellent fruit to eat fresh or after they have been refrigerated. They also freeze well. Jostaberries add a delicious flavor to homemade ice cream and are excellent in pies, cakes and stewed. A wonderful jam can be made using fully ripened berries. Savory uses are in chicken dishes and salads or for great chutneys and relishes.
|Scientific Name||Ribes x nidigrolaria|
|Name in Other Languages||German : Jochelbeere
|Plant Growth Habit||Vigorous, multi branched, small, eglandular, deciduous shrub|
|Growing Climate||Prefers full sun but will also grow in partial shade. Can survive very cold sub-zero winters|
|Soil||Well-drained, slightly acidic soil and a high organic content. It’s a good idea to mix organic compost into the soil before planting.|
|Plant Size||1 m high but can reach 2 m.|
|Root||10 millimeters thick and can spread widely|
|Leaf||Alternate, sub-orbicular, palmately lobed with 3–5 irregular lobes, deeply veined and with serrated margins|
|Flower||Small, about 8 millimeters long, and a quite beautiful, flattened bell shape and have maroon petals that fold back in a very attractive fashion.|
|Fruit Shape & Size||Berry is globose larger than black currant but smaller than gooseberry, can reach up to 1 cm in diameter, glabrous and eglandular containing few to numerous seeds.|
|Fruit Color||Green turning pink /red as they mature and finally to deep opaque purple- black as they completely ripe|
|Fruit Skin||Quite thick|
|Taste||Taste intermediate between a gooseberry and a blackcurrant|