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Botanical description

The fruit is about 8mm in diameter and is borne in large clusters[24].

Uses

Toxic parts

The leaves and stems are poisonous[25][26]. The fruit of many species (although no records have been seen for this species) has been known to cause stomach upsets to some people. Any toxin the fruit might contain is liable to be of very low toxicity and is destroyed when the fruit is cooked[27][26].

Edible uses

Flowers

Raw, Cooked as a Tea, Flavouring

Fruit

Raw, Cooked, Dried as a Jam, Preserves, Pie

Fruit, Flowers

Fermented as an Alcohol, Wine

Material uses

Flowers

Fruit, Bark, Leaves

Dye

Leaves

Powdered as an Insecticide

Fruit

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Elder has a very long history of household use as a medicinal herb and is also much used by herbalists[16]. The plant has been called 'the medicine chest of country people'[16]. The flowers are the main part used in modern herbalism, though all parts of the plant have been used at times[10]. Stimulant[25][4][28]. The inner bark is collected from young trees in the autumn and is best sun-dried[16]. It is diuretic, a strong purgative and in large doses emetic[16][20]. It is used in the treatment of constipation and arthritic conditions[10]. An emollient ointment is made from the green inner bark[16]. The leaves can be used both fresh or dry. For drying, they are harvested in periods of fine weather during June and July. The leaves are purgative, but are more nauseous than the bark[16]. They are also diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant and haemostatic[16][20]. The juice is said to be a good treatment for inflamed eyes[16]. An ointment made from the leaves is emollient and is used in the treatment of bruises, sprains, chilblains, wounds etc[16]. The fresh flowers are used in the distillation of 'Elder Flower Water'. The flowers can be preserved with salt to make them available for distillation later in the season[16]. The water is mildly astringent and a gentle stimulant. It is mainly used as a vehicle for eye and skin lotions[16]. The dried flowers are diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, galactogogue and pectoral[16][20]. An infusion is very effective in the treatment of chest complaints and is also used to bathe inflamed eyes[16]. The infusion is also a very good spring tonic and blood cleanser[16]. Externally, the flowers are used in poultices to ease pain and abate inflammation[16]. Used as an ointment, it treats chilblains, burns, wounds, scalds etc[16]. The fruit is depurative, weakly diaphoretic and gently laxative[16][20]. A tea made from the dried berries is said to be a good remedy for colic and diarrhoea[16]. The fruit is widely used for making wines, preserves etc., and these are said to retain the medicinal properties of the fruit[16]. The pith of young stems is used in treating burns and scalds[7][8][22]. The root is no longer used in herbal medicine but it formerly had a high reputation as an emetic and purgative that was very effective against dropsy[16]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh inner bark of young branches[16]. It relieves asthmatic symptoms and spurious croup in children[16].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, when it 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[29][30][31]. Prick out 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 positions during the early summer. Otherwise, either put them in a sheltered nursery bed, or keep them in their pots in a sheltered position and plant them out in spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[29]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 20cm with a heel, late autumn in a frame or a sheltered outdoor bed[29]. Division of suckers in the dormant season.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Sambucus nigra. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

A very easily grown plant, it tolerates most soils and situations[32][33][30], growing well on chalk[33][30][34], but prefers a moist loamy soil[24]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates some shade but fruits better in a sunny position[35][24]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and coastal situations[24]. Another report says that it is intolerant of very smoky atmospheres[34]. The elder is very occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties though most of these have been developed for their ornamental value[36]. The sub-species S. nigra alba has white/green fruits that are nicer than the type species and are quite nice raw[K]. The elder also has a very long history of folk use, both medicinally and for a wide range of other uses. All in all it is a very valuable plant to have in the garden. The leaves often begin to open as early as January and are fully open in April[34]. The leaves fall in October/November in exposed sites, later in sheltered positions[34]. Young stems can be killed by late frosts but they are soon replaced from the ground level[34]. Very tolerant of pruning, plants can be cut back to ground level and will regrow from the base[34]. The flowers have a sweet, almost overpowering smell, not exactly pleasant when inhaled near to for it has fishy undertones, but from a distance its musky scent is appealing[37]. Very resistant to the predations of rabbits[38][34]. The flowers are very attractive to insects[34]. The fruit is very attractive to birds[34] and this can draw them away from other cultivated fruits[11][34]. The elder is an early colonizer of derelict land, the seed arriving in the defecations of birds and mammals[34]. It is a very good pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[24].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Sambucus nigra. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Sambucus nigra.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Sambucus nigra
Genus
Sambucus
Family
Caprifoliaceae
Imported References
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
5
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
  • Maritime exposure
Ecosystems
Native Climate Zones
None listed.
Adapted Climate Zones
None listed.
Native Geographical Range
None listed.
Native Environment
None listed.
Ecosystem Niche
None listed.
Root Zone Tendancy
None listed.
Life
Deciduous or Evergreen
Herbaceous or Woody
Life Cycle
Growth Rate
Mature Size
6 x 6
Fertility
?
Pollinators
?
Flower Colour
white, yellow
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? 1.01.11.2 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972/01/01)
  2. ? 2.02.12.2 Mabey. R. Food for Free. Collins ISBN 0-00-219060-5 (1974/01/01)
  3. ? 3.03.13.2 Loewenfeld. C. and Back. P. Britain's Wild Larder. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-7971-2 ()
  4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 De. Bray. L. The Wild Garden. ()
  5. ? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named KenPFAF
  6. ? 6.06.1 Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-5531-7 (1972/01/01)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.5 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959/01/01)
  8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.5 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974/01/01)
  9. ? 9.09.19.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990/01/01)
  10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.410.510.6 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995/01/01)
  11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.4 Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (1979/01/01)
  12. ? 12.012.112.2 Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants. Watkins (1979/01/01)
  13. ? 13.013.1 Bruce. M. E. Commonsense Compost Making. Faber ISBN 0-571-09990-4 (1977/01/01)
  14. ? 14.014.114.214.3 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975/01/01)
  15. ? 15.015.1 Bryan. J. and Castle. C. Edible Ornamental Garden. Pitman Publishing ISBN 0-273-00098-5 (1976/01/01)
  16. ? 16.0016.0116.0216.0316.0416.0516.0616.0716.0816.0916.1016.1116.1216.1316.1416.1516.1616.1716.1816.1916.2016.2116.2216.2316.2416.2516.2616.2716.2816.2916.3016.3116.3216.33 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984/01/01)
  17. ? 17.017.117.217.3 Allardice.P. A - Z of Companion Planting. Cassell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-304-34324-2 (1993/01/01)
  18. ? 18.018.1 Mabey. R. Plants with a Purpose. Fontana ISBN 0-00-635555-2 (1979/01/01)
  19. ? 19.019.1 Freethy. R. From Agar to Zenery. The Crowood Press ISBN 0-946284-51-2 (1985/01/01)
  20. ? 20.020.120.220.320.420.520.6 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984/01/01)
  21. ? 21.021.1 Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A. Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada. National Museum of Natural Sciences (1978/01/01)
  22. ? 22.022.122.222.322.4 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969/01/01)
  23. ? 23.023.1 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (1990/01/01)
  24. ? 24.024.124.224.324.424.524.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992/01/01)
  25. ? 25.025.125.2 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981/01/01)
  26. ? 26.026.1 Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984/01/01)
  27. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984/01/01)
  28. ? 28.028.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
  29. ? 29.029.129.2 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948/01/01)
  30. ? 30.030.130.2 Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
  31. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987/01/01)
  32. ? 32.032.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981/01/01)
  33. ? 33.033.1 Knight. F. P. Plants for Shade. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0-900629-78-9 (1980/01/01)
  34. ? 34.0034.0134.0234.0334.0434.0534.0634.0734.0834.0934.10 Beckett. G. and K. Planting Native Trees and Shrubs. Jarrold (1979/01/01)
  35. ? Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant. Blackie and Son. (1878/01/01)
  36. ? Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992/01/01)
  37. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994/01/01)
  38. ? 38.038.1 Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962/01/01)
  39. ? Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983/01/01)
  40. ? Shepherd. F.W. Hedges and Screens. Royal Horticultural Society. ISBN 0900629649 (1974/01/01)
  41. ? Rosewarne experimental horticultural station. Shelter Trees and Hedges. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1984/01/01)


"image:Sambucus nigra fruit kpjas 26082005 1.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

Facts about "Sambucus nigra"RDF feed
Article is incompleteYes +
Article requires citationsNo +
Article requires cleanupNo +
Belongs to familyCaprifoliaceae +
Belongs to genusSambucus +
Has binomial nameSambucus nigra +
Has common nameElderberry +
Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
Has edible partFlowers + and Fruit +
Has edible useTea +, Flavouring +, Jam +, Preserves +, Pie +, Alcohol + and Wine +
Has environmental toleranceMaritime exposure + and High wind +
Has flowers of colourwhite + and yellow +
Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
Has growth rateVigorous +
Has hardiness zone5 +
Has imageSambucus nigra fruit kpjas 26082005 1.jpg +
Has lifecycle typePerennial +
Has material partPlant +, Flowers +, Fruit +, Bark +, Leaves + and Wood +
Has material useCompost +, Cosmetic +, Dye +, Fungicide +, Insecticide +, Wood +, Furniture +, Musical instruments +, Pipes +, Toys + and Litmus +
Has mature height6 +
Has mature width6 +
Has medicinal partUnknown part +
Has medicinal useAnti-inflammatory +, Aperient +, Diaphoretic +, Diuretic +, Emetic +, Emollient +, Expectorant +, Galactogogue +, Haemostatic +, Laxative +, Ophthalmic +, Purgative +, Salve + and Stimulant +
Has primary imageSambucus nigra fruit kpjas 26082005 1.jpg +
Has search namesambucus nigra + and elderberry +
Has seed requiring scarificationNo +
Has seed requiring stratificationNo +
Has shade toleranceLight shade +
Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral +, Alkaline + and Very alkaline +
Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy +, Clay + and Heavy clay +
Has sun preferenceFull sun +
Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
Has taxonomy nameSambucus nigra +
Has water requirementsmoderate +
Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
PFAF cultivation notes migratedYes +
PFAF edible use notes migratedYes +
PFAF material use notes migratedYes +
PFAF medicinal use notes migratedYes +
PFAF propagation notes migratedYes +
PFAF toxicity notes migratedYes +
Tolerates air pollutionNo +
Tolerates maritime exposureYes +
Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
Tolerates windYes +
Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra +, Sambucus nigra + and Sambucus nigra +