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Ribes rubrum - L. pro parte sense Jancz.                
                 
Common Name Red Currant, Cultivated currant
Family Grossulariaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The fresh leaves contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide, though details of quantities are not given[240]. This substance is found in several foods, including almonds. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Habitats Damp soils in hedges and woods, avoiding acid soils[7, 9, 17].
Range Western Europe, including Britain.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of shrub
Ribes rubrum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
R. sylvestre. R. vulgare. pro parte
Ribes rubrum Red Currant, Cultivated currant


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:280_Ribes_rubrum.jpg
Ribes rubrum Red Currant, Cultivated currant
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Hedwig_Storch
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; North Wall. By. East Wall. By.
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 2, 5, 11]. A pleasant acid flavour, it can be eaten out of hand but is more often cooked in pies, jams etc[K]. There are rather a lot of seeds in each fruit[K].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antirheumatic;  Antiscorbutic;  Aperient;  Poultice;  Refrigerant;  Sialagogue.

The fruit is antiscorbutic, aperient, depurative, digestive, diuretic, laxative, refrigerant and sialagogue[4, 7, 21]. The leaves contain the toxin hydrogen cyanide[240]. A concoction of them is used externally to relieve rheumatic symptoms[7]. They are also used in poultices to relieve sprains or reduce the pain of dislocations[7].
Other Uses
Cosmetic;  Dye.

A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves[100]. A black dye is obtained from the fruit[100]. The fruit is used cosmetically in face-masks for firming up tired and lifeless skin[7].
Cultivation details                                         
Easily grown in a moisture retentive but well-drained loamy soil of at least moderate quality[11, 200]. Plants are quite tolerant of shade, even succeeding on a north-facing wall[200], though they do not fruit so well in such a position[11]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 to 6[200]. Hardy to about -20°c[200]. Red currants are often cultivated in temperate zones for their edible fruit, there are some named varieties, including forms with white fruits[4, 61]. Most cultivars are self-fertile and set a good crop on their own[200]. The fruit is produced at the base of one-year old and older wood, plants start to fruit at 3 - 4 years from seed[200]. This is an aggregate species comprising R. spicatum and R. rubrum. There is some confusion in nomenclature with some botanists only recognising 2 species, R. silvestre. (syn R. sativum) and R. spicatum (syn R. rubrum)[17, 200]. Plants can harbour a stage of white pine blister rust, so should not be grown in the vicinity of pine trees[155]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[200].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 months cold stratification at between 0 and 5°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible[113, 164]. Under normal storage conditions the seed can remain viable for 17 years or more. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter, planting them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[78, 113]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, preferably with a heel of the previous year's growth, November to February in a cold frame or sheltered bed outdoors[78, 200].
Related Plants                                         
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Rheum ribes 20
Ribes aciculare 30
Ribes alpinumAlpine Currant30
Ribes altissimum 30
Ribes ambiguum 20
Ribes americanumAmerican Blackcurrant21
Ribes aureumGolden Currant41
Ribes bracteosumStink Currant21
Ribes burejense 40
Ribes californicumHillside Gooseberry20
Ribes cereumWax Currant21
Ribes curvatumGranite gooseberry30
Ribes cynosbatiDogberry, Eastern prickly gooseberry31
Ribes diacanthumSiberian currant20
Ribes distans 20
Ribes divaricatumCoastal Black Gooseberry, Spreading gooseberry, Parish's gooseberry, Straggly gooseberry41
Ribes fasciculatum 10
Ribes fragrans 30
Ribes gayanum 30
Ribes glaciale 20
Ribes glandulosumSkunk Currant21
Ribes griffithii 20
Ribes himalense 31
Ribes hirtellumCurrant-Gooseberry, Hairystem gooseberry30
Ribes horridum 30
Ribes hudsonianumHudson Bay Currant, Northern black currant, Western black currant21
Ribes inebriansWhisky Currant21
Ribes inermeWhitestem Gooseberry, Klamath gooseberry20
Ribes irriguumIdaho Gooseberry21
Ribes janczewskii 30
123
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L. pro parte sense Jancz.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
1117200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Ribes rubrum  
             
                                        
                                                                                 
                                                                                 
   
 

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