The Greenhouse,

is about growing matters, focusing on my greenhouse and potager. I grow mainly vegetables, herbs and spices but flowers have their given place too. From seed to table, this is the nursery for my living food, we cook a lot of delicious food and I say a potager is the cook’s best friend. The greenhouse makes it possible to grow essential, colourful, warmth loving fruit and vegetables even in this climate such as tomatoes and chillies. My main blog is Tyras Trädgård/Tyra's Garden. View my profile


ABC Wednesday E is for - The Multifaceted Elder

© This post - 'E' is for the Multifaceted Elder , was originally uploaded and written by Tyra at the blog The greenhouse in Tyra's Garden

ABC wednesday 'E' is for Elder.

Elderberries Sambucus nigra in my beer bucket.

Elderberry and Apple Crumble

350g (12 oz) elderberries (common elder)
450g (1lb) apples
110g (4oz) sugar

225g (8oz) flour
110g (4oz) light brown sugar
110g (4oz) butter

A pinch each of bicarbonate of soda.

*A variant is to add ginger, cardamom or cinnamon to the crumble

Rinse the elderberries and then pull off their stalks. Core, peel (optional) and chop the apples. Mix apples together with the elderberries and sugar and put into an ovenproof dish. Rub the butter into the sieved flour; add the sugar, the bicarbonate of soda and the spice*. Press down lightly over the fruit and cook the crumble in the oven at 380F, 200°C about thirty five to forty minutes.

Have anyone tried to dry the elderberries?

If yes please tell us how you did it and the result. It would be nice to have them during the winter as well. Elder is used in Phytotherapy - The flowers may be used to make an herbal tea, which is believed as a remedy for colds and fever.
Stem bark, leaves, flowers, and berries, root extracts are used to treat bronchitis, cough, upper respiratory cold infections as well as fever.

The Multifaceted Elder..

Which Elder lives near you? Do you have it in your garden?

Do you use the Elder as a medicinal plant?

As food?

Or perhaps made some delicious wine?

I know Yolanda at Bliss make a delicious Elderberry Champagne.
The whereabout of Elder.

It is fascinating to read about the Elders species groups and their whereabouts around the globe this is what wikipedia writes about Elder.

"The common elder complex is variously treated as a single species Sambucus nigra found in the warmer parts of Europe and North America with several regional varieties or subspecies, or else as a group of several similar species. The flowers are in flat corymbs, and the berries are black to glaucous blue; they are larger shrubs, reaching 5–8 m tall, occasionally small trees up to 15 m tall and with a stem diameter of up to 30–60 cm.

Sambucus australis (Southern Elder; temperate eastern South America)
Sambucus canadensis (American Elder; eastern North America; with blue-black berries)
Sambucus cerulea ( S. glauca; Blueberry Elder; western North America; with blue berries)
Sambucus javanica (Chinese Elder; southeastern Asia)
Sambucus mexicana (Mexican Elder; Mexico and Central America; with blue-black berries)
Sambucus nigra (Elder or Black Elder; Europe and western Asia; with black berries)
Sambucus palmensis (Canary Islands Elder; Canary Islands; with black berries)
Sambucus peruviana (Peruvian Elder; northwest South America; with black berries)
Sambucus simpsonii (Florida Elder; southeastern United States; with blue-black berries)
Sambucus peruviana (Andean Elder; northern South America; with blue-black berries)
Sambucus velutina (Velvet Elder; southwestern North America; with blue-black berries)

The Blackberry Elder Sambucus melanocarpa of western North America is intermediate between the preceding and next groups. The flowers are in rounded panicles, but the berries are black; it is a small shrub, rarely exceeding 3–4 m tall. Some botanists include it in the red-berried elder group.

The red-berried elder complex is variously treated as a single species Sambucus racemosa found throughout the colder parts of the Northern Hemisphere with several regional varieties or subspecies, or else as a group of several similar species. The flowers are in rounded panicles, and the berries are bright red; they are smaller shrubs, rarely exceeding 3–4 m tall.

Sambucus callicarpa (Pacific Coast Red Elder; west coast of North America)
Sambucus chinensis (Chinese Red Elder; eastern Asia, in mountains)
Sambucus latipinna (Korean Red Elder; Korea, southeast Siberia)
Sambucus microbotrys (Mountain Red Elder; southwest North America, in mountains)
Sambucus pubens (American Red Elder; northern North America)
Sambucus racemosa (European Red Elder; northern Europe, northwest Asia)
Sambucus sieboldiana (Japanese Red Elder; Japan and Korea)
Sambucus tigranii (Caucasus Red Elder; southwest Asia, in mountains)
Sambucus williamsii (North China Red Elder; northeast Asia)

The Australian elder group comprises two species from Australasia. The flowers are in rounded panicles, and the berries white or yellow; they are shrubs growing to 3 m high.

Sambucus australasica (Yellow Elder; New Guinea, eastern Australia)
Sambucus gaudichaudiana (Australian Elder or White Elder; shady areas of south eastern Australia)

The dwarf elders are, by contrast to the other species, herbaceous plants, producing new stems each year from a perennial root system; they grow to 1.5–2 m tall, each stem terminating in a large flat umbel which matures into a dense cluster of glossy berries.

Sambucus adnata (Asian Dwarf Elder; Himalaya and eastern Asia; berries red)
Sambucus ebulus (European Dwarf Elder; central and southern Europe, northwest Africa and southwest Asia; berries black)" wikipedia Elderberry

Don't be a stranger my friend, do write something!


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deslilas said...

We have a small callicarpa in our garden, we've got very few berries this year.

Willow said...

I don't know what kind of elderberry plants we have here in Southern California--the native plant garden should have some. I'll have to go and visit.

RuneE said...

A post full of information - once again I have been taught something new. I have never tasted Elderberry, but I have heard that some sort can be used for wine-making.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hi Deslilas oh ...I think that Sambucus callicarpa is poisonous.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Tyra .. I have 4 different sambucus and they are all pretty from Black Lace to Sutherland Gold. They are young yet and don't produce a lot of flowers and berries but the foliage is amazing !
I love the picture of the berries in the beer bucket !! and the recipe too : ) Thanks !

Anonymous said...

Such an informative post and I love the photo. Thanks and have a great day.

Carolina said...

Mmmmm, I love the smell of Elderberry flowers. My mother used to put the flowers in a beerbatter and shallowfry them. Yummy!
Beautiful photos!

Anonymous said...

Plants with the bonus of berries are always welcome in my garden. Thanks for the interesting background and delicious recipe. :)

Anna said...

I really enjoyed your post. We have elderberries growing in the garden Tyra, and use them to make elderflower cordial which is most refreshing on a hot summer's day. This year I would like to try a recipe I have seen for elderflower sorbet and I will also give your crumble recipe a go. It sounds most delicious :)

Reader Wil said...

Once I tried to make elderberry jam with lots of sugar, but I had picked the wrong kind and it tasted bitter. Later I learned they were not the kind you could use for consumption. The birds didn't eat them, so we couldn't eat it either. Thank you for the recipe!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

YES! I make rhus/elderberry jelly with elderberries and staghorn sumac that grow wild here. ;-) It's very good.

Granny Smith said...

I received several home-made jars of elderberry jelly for Christmas. As far as I know it doesn't grow her in California, but I must say it's delicious!

Janie said...

Your recipe sounds delicious.
We have what I think are elderberries growing in our Utah mountains. Some have blue berries, and some have red.
Good E choice!

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

I so enjoy the way you take photographs Tyra - you have such an eye for design (are you an interior designer?)
The Elderberries in the beer bucket is rather wonderful.

Michele said...

I find all of this information quite intriguing! I have had it in jams and quite liked it as long as it was sweetened a lot as it can be quite tart!
Wonderful post!!!

Mountain Retreat

Carol said...

Very interesting post...I have never seen elderberry...enjoyed the info...

Tumblewords: said...

Elderberry tree/bushes grow wild in the forests here and we used to make jam, jelly and desserts...Nice post!

photowannabe said...

Very interesting and sounds so good. This is a perfect choice for the letter E.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Thank you ALL of you for your nice and interesting comments. It is really interesting to hear your experience with the Elder plant.

Somewhere I know I have read about planting elder close to an open compost but I don't know what it was good does anybody know? What was the benefit?


Mamapippa said...

My grandmother used the berries as an sort of medecin if they had a cold.
In Belgium we call them 'Vlierbessen' ...

uncleawang said...

Full of information..Thanks You for sharing and also Thanks for viewing my ABC and have a nice day.

sharp green pencil said...

Hi Tyra.. thanks so much for your v kind comment. This is a wonderful post. Ah ..elderberries, just another thing to miss about Europe. Your photos are so beautiful and elegant too. Calligraphy is something I have never tried, but much admired..I nned to learn a little if I am going to do more botanical work

Miss_Yves said...

Beautiful still life !
Spring and summer stand always in your garden !

Rose said...

Excellent choice for E, Tyra! I couldn't think of a single thing in my garden for this week:) I'm not sure elders are as common here in the Midwest as they once were, at least we don't have any near us. I've always heard of making elderberry wine, however.

Geno's Garden said...

Hej Tyra...your post makes me have
Sambucus yearning. I was quite taken by one years ago, a Sambucus nigra 'Varigata', and wanted it, but didn't get it...and now that want is rekindled! Cuz, I'd like to have elderberries to cook with, too...make elderflower cordial, elderberry crumble...and all of it!

Jay said...

I believe ours is Sambucus Nigra, the black elder.

It grows like a weed here and can be a nuisance in the garden, but I do like it as a cordial or tea - and elderberry wine is an old favourite. Elderflower wine, too. Some people serve it before it finishes fermenting and call it 'elderflower champagne'

Anonymous said...

What a great choice for "E". And so much information. Beautiful photo!!

Dragonstar said...

My grandmother made a wonderful rich elderberry wine. The last bottle was poured in tiny amounts when we had colds as children, and the last bottles continued for many years after her death. No-one has made anything as good since!

Roses and Lilacs said...

I have large patches growing wild all around the farm. Such favorites of the birds, they plant the seeds everywhere;)

I tried elderberry pie at the church last summer. Very good.

Celeste said...

Good elderberry or elderflower wine is very good too. Great post. Sorry I have no idea about drying the berries.

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. What a great E. I LOVE it. Very pretty.

Karyn said...

Very nice E....great photos! Thanks for visiting my E entry

Grace and Bradley said...

This is really nice post, and make me hungary.

ebw-pete said...

here in california, we have at least 3 native varieties of elder: sambucus caerulea [was s. mexicanus], which is the glaucous blue elderberry. that's the most common one. great wildlife plant. berries are sort of edible but don't have too much flavor. sambucus racemosa - the red one - grows in wet places usually right along the coast. the berries on that one are beautiful BUT POISONOUS! long history of people getting sick after eating them. we have the mountain one too s. microbotrys - which is much smaller and looks alot like a dwarf red elderberry. i don't know whether it's edible or poisonous, but it's very pretty and can be grown in lower elevations too. the largest elderberry on record in the state is in the middle of my native plant nursery in castro valley. it's over 50' across and really wild looking!

HappyMouffetard said...

Great photos and a fascinating post - thank you!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Once again thank you so much for all the great comments. It is so fascinating to read your stories about the elderberry.

Special thank you to Pete in California for your comprehensive comment.

I wish you all a Happy Weekend.


Yolanda Elizabet said...

Not only do I make champagne with my elderflowers I also named one of my lovely Russian Blues after this great shrub: Sam Bucus.

From the berries I have made a cordial last year, very tasty. Have not tried to dry them.

Willow said...

I just tried to post a comment and got an error so if this posts twice you'll know why.

Thank you for posting a comment about the photo of the snow capped mountains. It is truly beautiful here.

I was born and raised in Portland! It's beautiful there too. Did you visit the Washing Park Rose Test Gardens in Portland?


Barbara said...

How rich and succulent these Elderberries look.
We used to make Elderberry and Elderflower Wine in years gone by.

I like Elderflower Cordial very much.

I have not heard of them being cooked with Apples but maybe next Autumn I will have a go.

Thanks for visiting. My next post will be a very beautiful Summer one.

Naturegirl said...

Tyra I don't know anyone who grows eldeberry in my immediate circle..I do see products made of eldeberry in IKEA..that's the closest I get! Lovely photos and great information!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Thank you so very much for all your lovely comment. It is great to here what you have to say about this Elder plant.

I wish you all a great week and see you on Wednesday, then it's F


Dawn said...

Oh, I love elderberry, it's so beautiful, the berries just sparkle. Not too many in my area :(

Teresa O'Connor said...

Hi: What a lovely post. I'm a big fan of elderberry -- such a pretty, bird-friendly plant with medicinal qualities. We're growing Sambucus cerulea here in Idaho. Happy gardening.

lisaray said...

I have plant berries inside my greenhouse. But I want to grow more berries, Could you please share some views to plant more.