Redcurrant - Ribes rubrum
An native shrub that is often cultivated and can be found wild in woodland and hedgerows
Leaves with three-lobes and toothed edges
Leaf veins are palmate
Dangling panicle of small green-petalled flowers
Leaves do not have scent when crushed
Flowers followed by berries spherical berries that mature to a glossy red
Flowering Currant - Ribes rubrum
Edible plant - novice
Other common names: None known
Scientific name meaning: Ribes is Arabic in origin and means "having sour sap". Rubrum is from the Latin Rubeo, meaning to be red
Season Fruits in late Spring to Summer
Habitat - where will I find it? A native shrub that is often cultivated, it can be found growing wild in woodland and hedgerows
Description - what does it look like?
Redcurrant has leaves with three lobes and palmate veins. They have no smell when crushed.
The flower heads are dangling panicles of discreet green-coloured flowers.
The berries that follow ripen to glossy, red spheres
Possible lookalikes Other currants and Gooseberries, though these are also edible. Gooseberries have prickles on their stems
Use as a food The berries can be used to make jams, jellies, cordials, wine, syrup, fruit leather, and chutneys. they can be sharp so usually require sugar to sweeten
Use in herbal medicine Has been used to treat constipation, rheumatism and scurvy
If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner
Other uses The berries are used in facemasks to firm the skin. Dyes are obtained from the leaves (yellow) and fruit (black)
Hazards The leaves contain hydrogen cyanide so should not be consumed in large quantities
Importance to other species Provides an important food source for pollinators, particularly bees
Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!