Red currants are a favorite fruit for making jams, jellies, tarts and other sweet treats. According to the Botanical website, wild red currants always maintain a bright red shade. Pink, white and champagne-colored currants were developed through cultivation. In addition to being tasty, the red currant possesses come medicinal qualities including being antiseptic and easing indigestion. When attempting to identify currants in the wild, seek the advice of a naturalist or experienced wild food forager before consuming the fruit.
Look for a deciduous shrub that grows up to 5 feet high and 5 feet wide. Search for naturalized red currants in hedge rows and along ditches.
Check the foliage for single, lobed leaves that grow on alternate sides of the stem. The leaves of the red currant plant are a deep shade of bluish-green and are shaped somewhat like a maple leaf.
Watch for drooping clumps of delicate green flowers, called a raceme or strig, in early spring. A strig is around 5 inches long and may have up to 20 flowers blooming on it at once.
Identify red currants by their translucent red color and the many minute seeds inside each berry. The berries on a red currant strig ripen all at once, as opposed to other types of currants that ripen from the top of the strig, down.