Agarita berries or currant-of-Texas is a berry that grows natively in Central to Western Texas. The leaves of the plant resemble hollies with spikes at the end. This natural protection protects the agarita plant from deer or other animals from grazing on it. The fruits are small round berries that are colored bright red. The agarita berries contain a juice that is sweet with a subtle tartness to it. Agarita berries are usually made into a fruit juice drink or turned into agarita wine.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Ranunculales
- Family: Berberidaceae
- Genus: Mahonia
- Species: M. trifoliolata
- Binomial name: Mahonia trifoliolata
Agarita Berry Trivia
- Virtually every part of the Agarita plant is used for some purpose.
- The roots of the plants have medicinal properties that are used to treat stomach ailments and open wounds.
- Many Native American tribes used parts of the plants to dye their things.
- Native American tribes used the roots and leaves of the Agarita plant in different ceremonies.
Agarita Berry Buying Guide
Agarita berries are not usually sold in stores. If you’re lucky, you can find some at your local farmers’ market or specialty stores. The best way to buy them is to try a piece (they’re so tiny, we’re sure the owner won’t mind). If you like them, go ahead and purchase them; if not, then there are other Agarita products available like jams, juices, and agarita wine.
Agarita Berry Production & Farming in Texas
The agarita berry plant is native to central and western Texas. While there is no large scale agarita berry production for fruit purposes, there are a number of specialty farmers that grow agarita berries for use in their juice production, wine production, and jam/jelly production. For Texans that want to grow agarita berries, just visit your local nursery or ask a neighbor with the plant to give you some seeds.
Since the plant is a Texas native and is pretty hardy against predators and disease, there has been no reported pesticide use in the growing of agarita berries. In fact, it has even resisted pesticides in areas where people were trying to get rid of them as the plants are invasive by nature.
Texas A&M has rated the organic production potential of the agarita berry as very high due to it having no serious pest or disease problems.
As long as the weather cooperates, agarita berry plants can survive anywhere, in any soil type and condition. They can even survive severe droughts.
The agarita berry is not popular in its fruit form, but if they are available, they are usually just stored in baskets or buckets on display.
Enjoying Agarita Berries
Agarita berries make for good snacks, but the presence of the very hard seed often limits consumption to just a few berries before one gets tired of spitting the seeds out.
Just like with any wild berry, agarita berries should be good in the fridge for up to a week. Due to its watery nature, you can squeeze it into a juice before freezing if you need to store it for a longer-term.
The agarita berry is almost exclusively turned into jellies or wine. The juice of the agarita berry can also be added to sauces to give any dish a sweet and tart kick.
There is no nutritional information available for agarita berries since they are rarely consumed as is.
When Are Agarita Berries in Season in Texas?
To find out when Agarita Berries are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.