Newsletters Sign Up
Newsletters View Archives
Catalog View/Download
Log InCreate Account For Call In Orders 800 500 6148
shopping: one variety
icon image
per 1/4 Pound
icon image
per Pound
Sambucus nigra

elder flower

plant overview
aromatic elder bush

The elder bush is steeped in ancient tradition and folklore. The shrub is said to be protected by a dryad who resides in the wood, a tree spirit by the name of Hylde-Moer. With her permission, however, elder is traditionally used to make instruments, combs and small toys, including the original “pop” gun. The creamy white blossoms are highly fragrant and sweet-tasting when added to tea blends or used to make floral water. See also elderberry.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Elder flower
Elder: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on elder flower

Sambucus nigra is a deciduous shrub or small tree of the Adoxaceae family that grows to 6 m (20 ft) tall and wide. The bark, light grey when young, changes to a coarse grey outer bark with lengthwise furrowing. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, 10–30 cm long, pinnate with five to seven (rarely nine) leaflets, the leaflets 5–12 cm long and 3–5 cm broad, with a serrated margin.

The hermaphrodite flowers are borne in large, flat corymbs 10–25 cm diameter in late spring to mid summer, the individual flowers ivory white, 5–6 mm diameter, with five petals; they are pollinated by flies.

The fruit is a glossy dark purple to black berry 3–5 mm diameter, produced in drooping clusters in late autumn; they are an important food for many fruit-eating birds, notably blackcaps.

common names & nomenclature
The name Elder, is probably derived from the Anglo-Saxon word Aeld meaning fire. Another old name for Elder is Ellhorn, hinting at the use of hollowed Elder branches as a furnace. Old names like Holler, Hylder, Hyllantree, and the German word Holunder all refer to an ancient vegetation Goddess, Hylde Moer, as she was known in Denmark.

Also known as:
european elder, black elder, boor tree, ellhorn, bountry, ellanwood, german elder, elder, elderberry, european elderberry, european black elderberry, judas tree, pipe tree, bourtree, boretree, eller, holler, hylder, hylantree, holunder, sureau

Elder: Where in the World
habitat and range for elder flower

Sambucus nigra is native to most of Europe and also grows in other areas such as North America and Asia.

Elder: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting elder flowers

Elder is commonly found growing in woodlands and hedgerows. It tolerates some shade, but prefers sunny locations.

Elder can grow in most soils, but prefers a moist loamy soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils.

Sow seeds as soon as they are ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, they should germinate in early spring. Stored seed can be sown in the spring in a cold frame but will probably germinate better if it is given 2 months warm followed by 2 months cold stratification first. Transplant the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If good growth is made, the young plants can be placed in their permanent locations during the early summer. Can also propagate by cuttings or division.

Harvest flowers in late spring, harvest berries in early fall. Use berries and flowers fresh or dry for later use. Berries may also be frozen.

Store dried flowers or berries in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Elder: The Rest of the Story
elder flower history, folklore, literature & more

fantastic elder flowers
Elder flowers have been used for thousands of years to treat problems that arise from inflammation. These are flowers from the elder tree. The tree has an interesting history. It was once believed that Elder Mother lived inside the tree. No one would cut down the tree because they were afraid to make her angry. While that doesn’t seem to be a major concern anymore, elder flowers are still used for important health benefits.

Elder flowers can actually keep your digestive system regular. It works for whatever intestinal problem you have. Whether it’s diarrhea or constipation, elderflower is the right treatment. Strangely it can work for both conditions.

If you’re suffering from fever, elderflower can help you to get relief. It causes you to sweat profusely and that allows the heat to be reduced. Its ability to make you sweat can also help you to have fewer problems with toxins in the blood. Elderflower encourages the removal of toxins from the blood and leaves you with fewer problems such as arthritis.

If you’re suffering from problems with your respiratory system, you’ll find that elderflower can bring relief. You’ll benefit from its ability to work as an expectorant. That means it can thin the mucous that’s causing your problem and allow your coughs to be more productive. While you may cough more at first, your coughs will be more productive. That means that you’ll actually be clearing out your lungs.

Elderflower can reduce your problems with mucous from upper respiratory infections. But it can also help you with the mucous that comes from seasonal allergies and hay fever. It will also boost your immune system so you’ll have fewer problems with colds and other illnesses that get passed around.

If you have dry skin, elderflower can also soothe it and bring relief. You’ll have more moisture and less irritation when you apply a cream containing the herb directly to your skin.

You can take elderflower in many forms. It can be used as a tea or decoction for allergies and arthritis. You can take it in the form of a tablet to help improve your immune function. And of course, you can use the cream applied directly to your skin to relieve dryness.

Elder flower is a good all around herb that helps to keep you healthy and strong and can still be used to treat specific conditions. It’s also a typically safe herb to use.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
Welcome to the Monterey Bay Spice Company @

Bulk Herbs & Spices

Monterey Bay Spice Company has been delivering premium bulk herb botanicals, spices, teas, seasonings and much more for over fifteen years...

Farm Fresh Goods

Most all of our botanicals are sourced directly from the farmers and growers — this allows us to provide you with premium products at competitive prices

Co-Packing & Private Label

In addition our blending and milling services allow us to provide full-service co-packing solutions and private label contract packaging services to companies of all sizes

© 2014 Monterey Bay Spice Company, Inc.

Our Newsletter - Sign Up

Sign up to receive specials, recipes, and informative herb and spice articles.

Sign Up Now
Monterey Bay Spice Company
241 Walker Street
Watsonville, CA 95076

Website &
Legal Info