Herbs > Elder Herb

Information on, uses of and how to grow elder:

Name
Sambucus nigra.

Family
Caprifoliaceae.

History
The Elder has long been highly regarded by herbalists because of its many uses.

Growing pattern
Tree.

Seeds
Buy Herb Seeds (Organic and Non-Organic) from The Green Chronicle (Pay in $US, £, Euro).
Herbs, Seasonings, Seeds and Spices - Buy Elder Berries, Elder Flowers from Mountain Rose Herbs ($US).

How to grow
The elder would take a long time to grow from seed. the quickest method is to take cuttings from leafless shoots. having said this if you have an elder in the garden they tend to seed in the most unlikely places.

Soil condition/position
Elder likes a sunny, moist place but will thrive in any good garden soil.

Appearance
Elder is a tree which has big whorls of creamy white pungent flowers, followed by dark black blue berries.

Uses
The blossom and berries make very good wine and non-alcoholic Elderflower Sparkle can be made from the blossom. A whole elderflower can be made into a fragrant fritter and the flowers can be put into apple tarts and as a substitute for currants in other puddings. A syrup made from elderberries relieves coughing and hot elderflower tea makes a soothing nightcap. An infusion of elderflowers is very good as a softener and cleanser for the skin. A compress made from the infusion is said to be good for wrinkles, sunburn and freckles.