Elder tree

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender June 27, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment 4 Comments

I was asked what the elderflower looks like after the post about the elderflower cordial. Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a tree which grows in hedgerows, around waste ground, chald downs, woods. Sometimes or rather often it does not look like a tree rather a big woody bush crawling and forming the hedgerow. The small white flowers appear in large clusters in late spring – early summer. The elderberries appear in late summer and they are used to make rich wine, but be aware they are poisinous if eaten raw and unripe.

The trees like a somewahat rich soil but can be found on every type of soil except sand. 5-9 leaflets form a leaf of the elder. The tree branches are light and hollow when dried out, which is great for kids to use it as a blow shooter, and is thought to be used to blow into fire.  The tree can be found all over the world in different subpecies or regional varieties.

4 Responses to “Elder tree”

  • Liz Jacklin:

    Thank you.:-)

  • Sara:

    I’m sorry to have to contradict you but Elder is Sambucus the Sambucus Nigra is the ornamental one with dark purple/black stems and leaves.. The berries are delicious and not at all poisonous. I’ve eaten them many times since I was a child and they can be used for wine. They’re also delicious crushed into a beef gravy or made into jelly to serve with red meats, especially delicious with pigeon breast. They have a deep, winey flavour. My Dad used to make Elderberry port by adding an egg-cup of brandy to each bottle of Elderberry wine before corking it.

  • Lajos Szabo:

    Sambucus nigra is the Latin or scientific name for elder, the retailers named the black stemmed and leaved ornamental ‘Nigra’ which of course means black, as the native young trees have ebony bark; and if the berries slightly unripe they contain a mild toxin which can be dangerous if eaten in larger quantities; didn’t want to encourage anyone to eat the berries then blame it on me if they get ill lol….

  • Sara:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambucus_nigra There are some good recipes here too…

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