Northern Red Currant
- Name also: Nordic Redcurrant, Nordic Currant, Downy Currant
- Family: Gooseberry Family – Grossulariaceae
- Growing form and height: Shrub. 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft.).
- Flower: Small, 5 mm (0.2 in.) across, regular (actinomorphic), greenish, tinged with brown or red. Calyx with 5 lobes, bell- or wheel-shaped, longer and showier than petals. Petals 5, small, tongue-like or shaped like a narrow ‘T’. Stamens 5. Carpels 2, fused. Inflorescence a slender raceme.
- Leaves: Alternate. With fairly long stalks. Blade varying in shape, usually 3–5-lobed with palmate venation, more or less hairy, or glabrous, and greyish beneath. Base shallowly cordate, margins toothed.
- Buds: Egg-shaped–tapering, sharp-pointed, usu. hairy. In short shoots buds in bunches.
- Fruit: Red, sometimes pale, glossy, fleshy berry.
- Habitat: Lush broadleaf woods, streamsides, shores. Sometimes an escape.
- Flowering time: May–June.
The genus Ribes comprises some 150 species native in the Northern hemisphere or in the mountains of South America. In general, they are monoecious shrubs, with only a few exceptions.
Red currant is actually a group of closely related species or subspecies which can be distinguished by the number of flowers, flower and leaf shapes, or leaf pubescence. Some of the variants are natural, some originally cultivated and later escaped. Of these, Ribes spicatum is native throughout Finland. Other recognized subspecies are R. spicatum ssp. lapponicum, common in Northern Finland, and ssp. hispidulum which is common in Northeastern Finland. The bred cultivars of the red currant produce more berries than the natural forms. White currant is a variety of the red currant.