Blackcurrant Facts; How Mutch Important, Benificial And Interesting?

The blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is a woody shrub in the family Grossulariaceae grown for its piquant berries. It is native to temperate parts of central and northern Europe and northern Asia where it prefers damp fertile soils and is widely cultivated both commercially and domestically.

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It is winter hardy but cold weather at flowering time during the spring reduces the size of the crop. Bunches of small, glossy black fruit develop along the stems in the summer and can be harvested by hand or by machine. The fruit is rich in vitamin C, various other nutrients, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Blackcurrants can be eaten raw but are usually cooked in a variety of sweet or savoury dishes. They are used to make jams, jellies and syrups and are grown commercially for the juice market. The fruit is also used in the preparation of alcoholic beverages and both fruit and foliage have uses in traditional medicine and the preparation of dyes.

  • Black currant is bushy plant that develops several stems. It can reach 5 to 6 feet in height.
  • Leaves of black currant consist of five palmate lobes with serrated edges (like maple leaves). They are pale green colored and alternately arranged on the branches. Crushed leaves release pleasant aroma.

  • Black currant produces bluish-pink flowers. They are arranged in clusters composed of 10 to 20 individual flowers on the 5 to 6 inches long stem called "strig".
  • Black currant blooms during the spring. Flowers attract hoverflies and honeybees, that are responsible for the pollination of this plant. In the case that insects are not available, flowers of black currant are able to perform self-pollination (they contain both types of reproductive organs).

  • Fruit of black currant are berries. They can be seen on the bush 70 to 100 days after pollination. Berries are arranged in drooping clusters. Each bush produces 3 to 10 pounds of fruit per season.
  • Berries of black currant are black colored and filled with 3 to 12 edible seed. They have tough skin on the surface and soft flesh inside. Black currants have strong, piquant flavor.
  • Some other varieties of currants produce red, white or pink berries. They have sweeter taste, but contain less nutrients than black currants. Black currant propagates via seed and cuttings.

  • Berries of black currant represent important source of food for the birds in the wild.
  • Black currants are rich source of vitamin C, A, B1, B5 and B6 and minerals such as iron, copper, calcium and phosphorus.
  • Black currants can be consumed fresh, dried, in the form of jams and jellies or as ingredient of sauces, juices and fillings for the cakes and pies.
  • Black currants are also used for the preparation of smoothies, various alcoholic mixtures (they are often combined with wines, ciders and champagnes) and liqueurs. Leaves of black currant are used as flavoring agents in the manufacture of teas or vodkas in Russia.

  • Medical studies showed that black currants contain substances that improve circulation of blood and function of eyes. Black currants also reduce inflammation and boost immune system.
  • Oil extracted from the seed of black currants has application in the cosmetic industry. It is mostly used in the manufacture of skin care products.
  • Black currant is perennial plant that can survive from 15 to 30 years in the wild.