Can I Grow Gooseberries or Currants in NC?

— Written By
en Español / em Português

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.


Inglês é o idioma de controle desta página. Na medida que haja algum conflito entre o texto original em Inglês e a tradução, o Inglês prevalece.

Ao clicar no link de tradução, um serviço gratuito de tradução será ativado para converter a página para o Português. Como em qualquer tradução pela internet, a conversão não é sensivel ao contexto e pode não ocorrer a tradução para o significado orginal. O serviço de Extensão da Carolina do Norte (NC State Extension) não garante a exatidão do texto traduzido. Por favor, observe que algumas funções ou serviços podem não funcionar como esperado após a tradução.


English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲
Gooseberry fruits hanging from a branch

Gooseberries. Photo from GLady at Pixabay.

9/16/2020 – The short answer is “no.” You cannot legally grow currants or gooseberries in North Carolina. The reason is that these plants serve as alternate hosts for White Pine Blister Rust. This imported disease destroyed white pine forests across the northeastern United States in the early 1900s. This unusual disease does not spread from white pine to white pine; it has to go through an alternate host plant in the genus Ribes. Ribes is a big genus containing many species, but currants and gooseberries are the most common ones in the genus to serve as alternate hosts for white pine blister rust.

On gooseberries and currants, the rust causes leaf spots and strange-looking orange structures on the backs of the leaves (see pictures in the attached document), and may lead cause premature defoliation. But, when white pines are infected, they usually die.

Nurseries in North Carolina are prohibited from selling any Ribes species, including gooseberries or currants, but many gardeners buy plants online from out of state nurseries who may not be aware of the regulations. If you are aware of any gooseberries or currants being offered for sale in North Carolina or in cultivation, you are asked to contact one of the plant pest specialists listed in the attached document. Any gooseberries or currants planted in North Carolina should be destroyed.

White pines are important species in our forests and many landowners in North Carolina have white pine plantations. Let’s help protect these trees by not growing gooseberries and currants. There are breeders working to create rust-resistant varieties; so hopefully, this ban won’t last forever.

For more information, here is a recent pest alert on the topic, complete with pictures, created by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: 2020 Gooseberries currants WPBR_NCDA&CS PID Pest Alert Ribes

The active regulation is:


 (a) All wild and cultivated currant and gooseberry plants in North Carolina are hereby declared to be dangerous plants and are consequently subject to destruction by the Commissioner of Agriculture or authorized agents wherever found. (b) No person shall knowingly and willfully keep upon his premises any currant or gooseberry plant, or permit such plants to mature seed or otherwise multiply upon his land.

History Note: Authority G.S. 106-65.45; 106-65.46; 106-284.18; 106-420; Eff. January 1, 1985.