Productive disease resistant red currant. All purpose. Precocious Red Currants are truly hard to beat as a dual purpose plant in the landscape. Dual purpose in terms of delicious and nutritious food, and delightful beauty. Those red berries really stand out against the green foliage. The berry, when you get a close enough view of it, is actually translucent. A glassy red gem with seeds visible within.
Here are the basics, but a good deal of information can be found in the “Research” section…
Eating -Taste-wise it likens itself to a sweetened cranberry, the juice very much so. The seeds are apparent when you eat them, but soft enough to be enjoyable and healthy. Like gooseberries, we like them especially well right out of the freezer, particularly on a hot day. The jelly produced by these fruits is legendary, the tartness standing up to sugar and the color a sparkling ruby red. We have made a dish similar to cranberry sauce that stands up just as well in a Thanksgiving assemblage. It also makes a very nice juice, but you will need a lot of fruit. We use the sweezins’ for our all natural popsicles. Try it in the company of a distilled product of your choice and you can’t go wrong. This was my son’s first favorite fruit, and we wisely still keep a good patch right in the backyard. That way when we are playing we can grab a handful every first down.
Growing – This will turn out to be a mid sized bush, anywhere from 4 to 6 feet tall and 4 or 5 feet wide. It can be managed in a more compact fashion if landscaping is your aim, but letting it size up will reward you with more fruit. Fruit can be expected soon after transplant, normally a year after transplant. Fruit and flowers appear on stems and spurs and hang in drupes of many berries. You harvest by either stripping them with fingers or cutting the whole drupe. Midsummer harvest, and continual- hanging on for many weeks which is why it is such a good backyard plant. Not fussy about soil, but likes cool roots and fair moisture, so mulch is a very good idea. It also is fond of some degree of shade, particularly in warmer areas.
For info on pruning, culture and nutrition see the “Research “ section Red Lake was released in 1933. It is highly resistant to white pine blister rust.
** The following states may have bans or restrictions on this species : nh, ma, me, mi, nc, ri