Sambucus nigra, flattened panicles of scented white flowers followed by small glossy, round black berries. Upright, bushy shrubs in hedgerows, woods and thickets.
Flowers in early summer, fruits in late summer.
Easy to grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soils and also thrives on extremely chalky sites
Flowers are used in cordials and wine, berries are only edible when cooked and can be used in wine and jellies.
- 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of water
- 1.8kg (4lb) cane sugar
- Juice and thinly peeled rind of 6 unwaxed lemons
- 30ml (2 tblsp) of cider or wine vinegar
- 40 elderflower heads. Shake them well to remove live insects and only wash if picked beside a road.