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Red Currant




Cultivated redcurrant
Scientific classification

Ribes rubrum

The Redcurrant (Ribes rubrum) is a member of the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 1-1.5 m tall, with five-lobed leaves arranged spirally on the stems. The flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green, in pendulous 4-8 cm racemes, maturing into bright red translucent edible berries about 8-12 mm diameter, with 3-10 berries on each raceme.

The fruit is a little sourer than its relative the Blackcurrant and is cultivated mainly for jams rather than for the table, while in Scandinavia it is often used in fruit soups and summer puddings. It also has medicinal properties. It is a native of western Europe but occasionally grows wild in northern Europe as an escape from cultivation.

There are several other very similar species native in Europe, Asia and North America, also with edible fruit though usually considered to have poorer flavour. These include Ribes spicatum (northern Europe and northern Asia), R. schlechtendalii (northeast Europe), R. multiflorum (southeast Europe), R. petraeum (southwest Europe) and R. triste (North America; Newfoundland to Alaska and southward in mountains).


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