Credit: NPS Photo
Northern red currant, a member of the saxifrage family, produces delicious bright red berries without the hairs that some currants have. The plant is also characterized by small, purplish flowers and heart-shaped leaves. It is a low, spreading shrub that grows primarily in forests.
Dena'ina Athabascan people call the berries nunazk'et'i ("that which hangs down") or jeghdenghult'ila ("ear it's tied onto"). It is said that the latter name indicates that the hanging fruit resembles earrings. Among the currants that grow in their country, the Dena'ina favor the northern red currant for food. Red currant tea was also used as a wash for sore eyes.
Download 84 KB