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Uses

Toxic parts

Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the leaves and stems of some, if not all, members of this genus are poisonous[1][2]. The fruit of 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[3][2]. The seed is said to be poisonous[4].

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw or cooked[5][6]. This species is said to have the tastiest fruit in this genus[7], it is somewhat reminiscent of red currants though the fruit is considerably smaller and contains many seeds[K]. Rich in vitamin C, the seed can be removed and the fruit used in jellies, preserves etc[8]. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter and is borne in large clusters, making it easy to harvest[9]. Some caution is advised with one report saying the seeds should be removed before the fruit is eaten[1]. See also the notes above on toxicity. Flowers - raw or cooked.

Flowers

Fruit

Material uses

The leaves are used to repel insects[10]. Wood - commonly used in the manufacture of various domestic items. It can also be hollowed out to make flutes, pipes, straws etc[7][11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Red elder was widely employed medicinally by various native North American Indian tribes, who used it to treat a range of complaints, but especially as an emetic and purgative to cleanse the system. It is little used in modern herbalism.

The leaves, stems and the roots are anodyne, carminative and vulnerary[5][12]. A decoction is used in the treatment traumatic injuries, fractures, rheumatoid arthralgia, gas pains, acute and chronic nephritis[12]. The fruit is depurative and laxative[7][1]. The leaves are diuretic, resolvent and sudorific[7]. They are used externally to soothe abscesses and boils[7].

The root, and the oil from the seed, are emetic and purgative[7][1][6]. An infusion of the root is used to treat stomach pains[6]. The roots can be rubbed on the skin to treat aching and tired muscles[6].

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[13][14][15]. 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[13]. 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[13].

Division of suckers in the dormant season.

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



Cultivation

Tolerates most soils, including chalk[9], but prefers a moist loamy soil[16][9]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates some shade but is best in a sunny position. Prefers cool moist conditions. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and coastal situations.

Hardy to about -25°c[17]. Plants self-sow in N. Britain but they rarely fruit well in S. Britain[18][19]. There are some named varieties developed for their ornamental value[19]. The flowers have a sweet smell, free from the fishy undertones found in some other members of the genus[20]. The subspecies S. racemosa kamtschatica. (E.Wolf.)Hult. has larger fruits and seeds[9].

Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[9].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Sambucus racemosa. 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 racemosa.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Sambucus racemosa
Genus
Sambucus
Family
Caprifoliaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
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
4
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
  • Strong wind
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
3 x 3 meters
Fertility
?
Pollinators
Flower Colour
?
Flower Type

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References

  1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.41.5 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
  2. ? 2.02.1 Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
  3. ? Frohne. D. and Pf?nder. J. A Colour Atlas of Poisonous Plants. Wolfe ISBN 0723408394 (1984-00-00)
  4. ? Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
  5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
  6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.5 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
  7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.67.77.8 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
  8. ? 8.08.1 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
  9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.59.6 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
  10. ? 10.010.1 Mabey. R. Plants with a Purpose. Fontana ISBN 0-00-635555-2 (1979-00-00)
  11. ? 11.011.1 Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology. British Columbia Provincial Museum ISBN 0-7718-8117-7 (1979-00-00)
  12. ? 12.012.112.2 ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
  13. ? 13.013.113.2 Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
  14. ? Gordon. A. G. and Rowe. D. C. f. Seed Manual for Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. ()
  15. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
  16. ? 16.016.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
  17. ? Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30258-2 (1989-00-00)
  18. ? Simmons. A. E. Growing Unusual Fruit. David and Charles ISBN 0-7153-5531-7 (1972-00-00)
  19. ? 19.019.1 Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
  20. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
  21. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)

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