Black elder


Surname: Black elder
Latin name: Sambucus nigra
Other names: Holler
plant family: Muskweed
Number of species: more than 25 species
circulation area: Europe, Asia
original distribution area: unknown
Location of the plant: undemanding
Blдtter: elliptical, tapering
Frьchte: dark red to black berries
Blьtenfarbe: white-yellow
Blьtezeit: June July
Hцhe: 2 - 10m
Older: perennial plant (10-30 years possible)
use: Medicinal plant, garden plant
characteristics: Leaves, bark, unripe berries and the seeds are poisonous!

Plant information: Black elderberry

Of the Black elder or Sambucus nigra belongs to the family of musk plants and is a widespread shrub or tree in Europe which can reach growth heights of up to ten meters. The heavily branched shrub is found in many temperate zones of Asia, Siberia, India and the Caucasus as well as the European area. The exact origin of the name of the plant is unknown, but it is suspected a connection to the fairy tale of the woman Holle, in which the elderberry bush found mention. Likewise, the plant appears in many legends of Christianity and was already used in ancient times because of its healing powers in natural medicine.
The robust plant is extremely undemanding and frost hardy and thrives in partially shady or shady locations in forests, along roadsides and forest clearings. The black elder prefers moist locations and a sour and sandy loam soil with high nitrogen content. The foliage of this shrub consists of presently arranged and feathered leaves, which are elliptical in shape and have smooth leaf margins. The small yellowish-white flowers appear in June and sit on umbrella-like panicles. They develop a characteristic, delicately floral and fresh fragrance. The stone crops, which are often referred to as elderberries, ripen in August and September and are blackish red in color and about half a centimeter in diameter. Also their stalks turn dark red during maturity.
Although it is widespread in the wild, black elder is also widely cultivated in many countries, as both the flowers and the fruits are widely used in natural medicine and in the manufacture of scents and schnapps.
Elderberry tea is a true all-rounder in the field of natural healing. It relieves flu-like infections and colds with its mucolytic, anti-inflammatory and perspiration properties, as well as having anti-inflammatory, antifungal and detoxifying properties. Likewise, an infusion of elderflower is an ideal bladder and kidney tea and relieves gout, arthritis and rheumatic complaints.
The flowers are also very popular as an ingredient for aromatic juices and syrups. They are also ideal for the preparation of sweets because of their fine and delicate floral taste. Especially when baked in beer batter or as ice cream, elderflowers are the basis for delicious desserts. The fruits, which in the raw state contain the plant poison sambunigrin, which is dangerous to humans, are boiled and thereby lose their toxic effect. Rich in vitamins and minerals, juices from elderberries are extremely valuable for the immune system and protect against flu and cold in winter.


This information is for scholastic work only and is not intended to identify edible or inedible plants. Eat or Never use found plants or fruits without appropriate expertise!

Pictures: Black elder