Red Currant and White Currant
Red Currant and White Currant
Related Articles
Other Names

Ribes rubrum / Ribes glandulosum

French: groseille à grappe, groseille rouge, gadelle

Origin: Eurasia
Etymology: corruption of the medieval name “raisins of Corinth.”
The red currant is a 2-3’ high shrub of the Saxifrageae family that bears red or white berries.


Red currants come into their own in July. It’s a uniquely summer delight to pick them on a hot afternoon, eating them right off the stems.

To avoid confusion in the berry world, keep in mind that berries of the Ribes genus are found in three colors: red, white and black.

  • Red and white currants belong to the same species (Ribes rubrum, R. sativum)
  • while black currants are a separate species (Ribes nigrum).
  • Furthermore, berries of the Ribes genus should not be confused with dried currants, sold mainly for baking, which resemble small raisins. They are actually dried Zante grapes.

70 to 100 days after flowering, the flowers give rise to small shiny round berries, pulpy and sour, under 1/4” in diameter, and which hang in a chain on stems. They are covered with a thin red or white skin, something like a grape. Their flesh contains tiny achenes (seeds).

Medicinal properties

Red currants are a mild laxative and tonic and calm stomach upsets.


Search within the site
Advanced search >
Register free to receive our official newsletter
Sign up
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:
Get the daily and monthly recipe posts automatically added to your newsreader.
Sign up