Josta – Ribes Nigridolaria
Hybrid selected from Holland in the first half of the last century, it has been known in Italy for just a few decades.
The Josta was obtained by crossing blackcurrants (Ribes Nigrum) and the gooseberry (Ribes Grossularia, taking the best aspects of the two species.
It is a vigorous bush and can reach heights of more than two metres, with beautiful dark green deciduous leaves, they are medium sized with a very indented edge, which at first sight can remind you of those of the vine, which allow you to glimpse the dark brown straight trunks.
The gooseberry doesn’t have thorns as does the blackcurrant, it doesn’t have the characteristic fragrance which can be unpleasant; It is very resistant to hard winters, cold, wind etc. but instead it fears a late gel which could compromise the Summer production.
Apart from the production of an exquisite fruit it also lends itself to be an ornamental plant for the garden.
As with the mother plant, it requires a soil that is fresh, fertile semi acid (ph6.0 /6.5)rich in organic substances but which avoids stagnant water.
It loves full sun, but in the context of fresh.: wonderful in the middle of a sunny lawn, but would suffer in a small flower bed surrounded by paving stones or asphalt.
FLORA AND FRUIT
Early flowering similar to that of the gooseberry with small single flowers or united in groups of 2 or 3 usually a mauve colour.
The flowers a self pollinating, but for a better production it is advisable to grow a few trees together to facilitate cross pollination.
The fruit is dark coloured like that of blackcurrant, but much bigger and reminds us of the taste of the plant of its origins but with less acid compared to the gooseberry and has a decidedly reduced aroma to that of the blackcurrant; maturing in a very staged way in mid Summer (usually in July) and even if mature, stay attached to the trunk and will fall only when over ripe. You should remember, for all plants that are specifically positioned or topographically placed can create a microclimate which influences earliness or lateness, sometimes quite considerably, the maturing of the fruit.
Varieties of Josta cultivated by PRANDINI’S GARDEN NURSERY CENTRE.
USE AND HEALTH GIVING PROPERTIES
Excellent eaten freshly picked and well mature, because of their colour and size they are often used in pastry baking, you can also use the tasty juice.
In America the Coca Cola Company produce a canned energy drink which has as a main ingredient the Josta fruit.
The mother plants have transmitted even the health properties of the Josta (see blackcurrant and gooseberry) differentiating between them only by the higher content of ascorbic acid, vitamin C is much higher than the already high blackcurrant.
As with all summer fruits, The Josta can be considered as a pharmafood (see cranberry)