Redcurrants


Currants are mostly high utility plants or deciduous shrubs, which grow to an average height of 1-1.5 meter. They mostly consist of redcurrants, blackcurrants or gooseberries, etc. Redcurrants are highly flavoured berries, which are used for making jams and jellies. They are slightly more sour than the blackcurrants. The Redcurrant or the Ribes rubrum belongs to the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae. This berry or currant is native to many parts of Western Europe including Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Northern Italy and Spain.


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Currants are mostly high utility plants or deciduous shrubs, which grow to an average height of 1-1.5 meter. They mostly consist of redcurrants, blackcurrants or gooseberries, etc. Redcurrants are highly flavoured berries, which are used for making jams and jellies. They are slightly more sour than the blackcurrants. The Redcurrant or the Ribes rubrum belongs to the genus Ribes in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae. This berry or currant is native to many parts of Western Europe including Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Northern Italy and Spain.

A flowering plant, the redcurrant bears yellow-green flowers, which mature to form translucent red berries, which are consumable. An average berry is around 8-12 mm in diameter. There are around 3-10 berries in each raceme.

 

Varieties of Redcurrants
A large number of varieties of the fruit are grown all over the globe. Some of the most popularly grown redcurrants include the following:

  • Jonkheer van Tets: This variety blooms early. The fruits also ripen early and often tend to fall from the stem. It resists mild dew and has a habit of spreading vigorously
  • Perfection: is a variety, which has an upright bush with twiggy roots. The strigs are usually cluttered at the bottom at the time of bloom. The fruits ripen in midseason and are small to average with clear red colour
  • Red Lake: This variety has a vigorous bush with many branches and is tolerant to a little dryness. The berries of this variety are exceptionally small and have a deep red colour
  • Wilder - R. Vulgare: This variety has a vigorous growth and tends to layer itself. It bears the largest of all types of redcurrants. These berries ripen late and stick for a longtime on the bush. This variety is very productive and bears pale red berries
 

Growing Redcurrants
The best part about growing redcurrants is that they require very little space, as each bush grows to a height of 5-6 f. Not only does the plant provide fruit, but is also ornamental, enhances the look of your garden with five lobed leaves in blue-green colour.

To plant the shrub, care should be taken to choose a spot, where they get to enjoy sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon, as direct sunlight is likely to ruin the leaves. The soil is not a concern, but they grow well in heavier soils like the clayey soils. If you are growing the bushes in sandy Solis, it is advisable to bulk them up. Also make sure to keep the soil moist at all times and avoid salty or alkaline soils, as they are not receptive to them.

 

Uses Of Redcurrants

  • As redcurrants are sour, they are rarely consumed as it is, but can be eaten raw
  • They are cultivated mainly for making jams and jellies
  • They also make an excellent ingredient in cooked dishes
  • The redcurrants are often used in Scandinavia to make fruit soups and summer puddings
  • In Germany, these berries are used with custard or meringue as a filling for tarts.
 

Health Benefits of Redcurrants

  • Redcurrants are fruits/berries, which are laden with innumerable benefits. Not just the fruits, but other parts of the plant are also equally beneficial.
  • Redcurrants are a great source of iron, potassium, Vitamin C and iron, which are extremely beneficial for developing a good immunity system
  • The jelly made fro redcurrants possesses antiseptic properties and is an effective remedy to cure minor burns. The jelly can be directly applied to the affected area, after cooling with cold water
  • They help in maintaining the electrolyte balance of the body
  • The berry, which is red in colour is rich in anthocynins and proanthocyanidin. Anthocynins is an antioxidant, which destroys all the free radicals in the body, thus preventing them from causing any harm.
  • If consumed regularly, redcurrants work wonders for diabetic patients, heart patient, cancer patient and people suffering from aging
  • Many researchers believe that redcurrants have fever reducing properties
  • These currants also help regulate menstrual flow, increase appetite cleanse the blood and aid in digestion
  • The dried leaves of the redcurrant plant are often used to make a tea, which helps cure symptoms of gout and rheumatism
  • These leaves also useful in the case of poorly healing wounds, and also make for an excellent gargling solution for mouth and throat infections.
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