Black currant Facts

Black currant Facts
Black currant is deciduous shrub that belongs to the family of currants. It originates from northern and central parts of Europe and Siberia, but it can be found around the world today. Black currant produces the fruit of best quality in areas that have humid summers and cold winters. It requires fertile, well-drained soil and partial shade for the successful growth. People cultivate black currants because of their delicious, healthy berries.
Interesting Black currant Facts:
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.

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