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Plant Catalogue

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Sambucus nigra 

Elderberry or elderflower is a native to Europe and North America and is a small, shrub-like tree. The medicinal berries are used to treat colds and flu and as a general immune booster, and can be eaten cooked or made into a syrup and saved for Winter. The leaves and stems are poisonous, and the raw fruit should probably not be consumed in large quantities but we eat small amounts with no ill effects. The flowers can also be made into a delicious fermented drink.


Sources online say elderberries prefer hot, dry spots and can tolerate poor soils, but we have found they grow best in quite heavy shade and moist soil, with the leaves getting sunburnt if grown in full sun. It is great as an understorey in a food forest or on the shady side of a house or garden. Some cultivars require two plants for pollination but ours are self fertile. Plants can flower and fruit from their first year. 


Elderberry has as potential to be spread by birds in colder regions of the country but does not seem to spread in areas with mild Winters, probably due to the seeds needing cold temperatures to germinate. 


Size: 1.3L

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