Elderflower, Common

£10.00 ex.VAT

Sambucus nigra

Family: Adoxaceae

Origin: native

Mature elder trees grow to a height of around 15m and can live for 60 years.

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Sambucus nigra

Mature elder trees grow to a height of around 15m and can live for 60 years.  Borne on large, flat umbels, 10–30cm across, the individual flowers are creamy-coloured, highly scented, and have five petals.

After pollination by insects, each flower develops into a small, purple-black, sour berry, which ripens from late-summer to autumn.

Elders are hermaphrodite, meaning both the male and female reproductive parts are contained within the same flower.

Only the flowers(raw) and berries(cooked) are edible on this tree, and you shouldn’t eat the berries raw as the seeds contain cyanide inducing glycocides.  The rest of the tree is poisonous and contains compounds that are metabolised into cyanide within the body.

Never try to climb an Elder tree, the branches are very brittle.  Elder flowers make a great cordial.

Feared by the devil. Favoured by foragers. Elder is the very essence of summer with its fragrant flowers and soot-dark fruits. It was said that an elder planted by your house would keep the devil away.

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