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Elder
shopping: all 3 varieties
Sambucus nigra

elderberry

plant overview
colorful and delicious elderberry

Elderberry refers to the berries or, more accurately, drupes, of the elder tree. In Europe, the berries are commonly used to make syrups, jams, wines and cordials, and are also baked into pies and pastries. Elderberries are also a colorful and delicious addition to tea blends. Dried elderberries possess all of the qualities of fresh, with the added benefits of concentrated flavor and a long shelf life. See also elder flower.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Elderberry
01.
Elder: A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on elder flower

description
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


02.
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.

03.
Elder: Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting elder flowers

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

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

growing
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.

harvesting
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.

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

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!!
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