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Biology

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Elder is a deciduous shrub that grows very quickly. Leaves are present from March through to November and it is in flower from June to July, the berries ripening from August to September (7). The aromatic flowers are pollinated by small flies and other insects (2) The uses of elder, of leaves, bark, wood, flowers and berries are many and varied. The shrub has been used for centuries as a fast-growing hedgerow plant (6). The hard heart wood was highly valued and the pith, one of the world's lightest natural solids, is still used today for holding small biological specimens in microscopy (4). Hollowed-out stems make excellent pea-shooters and 'guns' for children (4). The leaves have been used to protect livestock from flies, and for various medicinal purposes, including soothing wounds, bruises and headaches. Indeed, elder was something of a cure-all, with every part of the shrub being used to treat a plethora of ills ranging from toothache to the plague. The use of the bark as a purgative dates back to Hippocrates, while today, elder flower water is still used for skin problems and as an eye wash (6). The main surviving uses for elder are culinary. Elder-flower cordial and wine (once known as elder-flower champagne) are still popular today. The berries are made into jellies, jams, syrups, wines, and relishes and the flowers can be battered, fried and eaten as fritters (5).
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Conservation

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Conservation action is not required for this species at present.
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Description

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The elder is not quite large enough to be classed as a tree, but is too large for a bush (4). It is a strange 'tree' of many contrasts. The heartwood is extremely hard, yet the branches are weak and barely able to support themselves. It produces clumps of creamy-white sweet-smelling flowers (2) but the leaves give off an unpleasant pungent smell, similar to the smell of mice nests, as the alternative name 'God's stinking tree' attests (4). Elder berries are small, globe shaped and a deep purplish-black in colour, and have been harvested for centuries for a huge range of purposes (4). Elder is the focus of a rich wealth of folk lore, and has many magical associations (5). The name 'elder' derives from the Anglo-Saxon word aeld, meaning fire. This may have arisen from the practice of using the hollow stems of the elder as bellows to encourage fires (4) (5). It was, however, extremely bad luck to burn elder wood; if this happened the Devil was said to appear, explaining another local name 'Devil's wood' (5). Conversely it was said to keep the Devil away if planted close to a house (4). Some of these old superstitions linger today; many modern hedge-cutters refuse to attack an elder for fear of bad luck (6). The hollow branches are the origins of yet another (this time Scottish) name 'bour-tree'; bour means pipe (4). The cross used to crucifix Jesus is said to have been made of elder wood, and the elder was tree on which Judas hanged himself (4).
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Habitat

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Thrives in disturbed fertile soils in a wide range of habitats including waste ground, roadsides, woods, grassland and railway banks (3). It is very tolerant of rabbit grazing and is a common feature around warrens (2).
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Range

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Common throughout Britain with the exception of northern Scotland up to altitudes of 470 m (2) (3) and has been introduced to Orkney and Shetland (2). It is widespread in Europe but becomes scarce in the extreme north. It is also found in western Asia, North Africa and the Azores (2).
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Status

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Not threatened (3).
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Threats

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The elder is not threatened.
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Brief Summary

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As tasty and edible the (processed) berries and flowers may be, the green parts of the elder are poisonous. Only red deer are able to digest them. Elder grows just about everywhere in the Netherlands, in the wild as well as cultivated, in forests, dunes and river valleys. As long as there is nitrogen available, elder is happy. Thanks to sea buckthorn, which adds nitrogen to the soil, elderberry bushes can take root in young developing dunes relatively close to the sea. The black, shiny berries ripen in the autumn, coinciding with the migration of many (hungry) birds.
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Comments

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Elder is cultivated. The pith is used in laboratories for cutting sections.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of Pakistan Vol. 0: 2 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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S. I. Ali & M. Qaiser
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Description

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A small tree, up to 10 m tall. Stem lenticellate. Leaves exstipulate or stipules inconspicuous; leaflets 5-7, oval to ovate, 3-7 x 1.5-4 cm; margin serrate; apex acute; surface glabrous to strigose; veins strigose. Inflorescence corymbose, up to 15 cm in diameter. Pedicel jointed. Bracteole minute, glandular below the joint. Hypanthium turbinate, c. 1 mm long. Calyx 5-toothed, minute. Corolla rotate with 5, almost round lobes; lobe 1.5 mm long, 3-nerved. Anthers oblong, 1 mm long, filament 2 mm long. Stigmas 3, almost sessile. Fruit globose, black, 5-6 mm in diameter. Pyrenes oblong, 3.5 mm long, surface rugose.
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Flora of Pakistan Vol. 0: 2 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Distribution

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Distribution: Europe and Asia.
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Flora of Pakistan Vol. 0: 2 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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S. I. Ali & M. Qaiser
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Flower/Fruit

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Fl.Per.: May.
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Flora of Pakistan Vol. 0: 2 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Flora of Pakistan @ eFloras.org
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Sambucus nigra

provided by wikipedia EN

Sambucus nigra is a species complex of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae native to most of Europe and North America.[1] Common names include elder, elderberry, black elder, European elder, European elderberry, and European black elderberry.[2][3] It grows in a variety of conditions including both wet and dry fertile soils, primarily in sunny locations. Elder is cited as a poisonous plant for mammals, and as a weed in certain habitats.[4]

The plant is a very common feature of hedgerows and scrubland in Britain and northern Europe, but also is widely grown as an ornamental shrub or small tree. Both the flowers and the berries have a long tradition of culinary use, primarily for cordial and wine.[5]

The Latin specific epithet nigra means "black", and refers to the deeply dark colour of the berries.[6] The English term for the tree is not believed to come from the word "old", but from the Anglo Saxon æld, meaning fire, because the hollow stems of the branches were used as bellows to blow air into a fire.[7]

Description

"
Fruit cluster
"
Flowers

Elderberry is a deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 6 m (20 ft) tall and wide,[5] rarely reaching 10 m (33 ft) tall. The bark, light grey when young, changes to a coarse grey outer bark with lengthwise furrowing, lenticels prominent.[8] The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, 10–30 cm long, pinnate with five to seven (rarely nine) leaflets, the leaflets 5–12 cm long and 3–5 cm broad, with a serrated margin. The young stems are hollow.[9]

The hermaphroditic flowers have five stamens,[10] which are borne in large, flat corymbs 10–25 cm diameter in late spring to mid-summer, the individual flowers are ivory white, 5–6 mm diameter, with five petals; they are pollinated by flies.

The fruit is a glossy, dark purple to black berry 3–5 mm diameter, produced in drooping clusters in late autumn;[5] they are an important food for many fruit-eating birds, notably blackcaps. In subtropical areas of North America, fruit may be borne in July as well.

"
Range of European Sambucus nigra
"
Natural range of North American Sambucus nigra subspecies

Subspecies

There are several other closely related species, native to Asia and North America, which are similar, and sometimes treated as subspecies of Sambucus nigra. The blue or Mexican elderberry, Sambucus mexicana, is now generally treated as one or two subspecies of Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis[11] and Sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea.[12]

Habitat

Hedges, waste-ground roadsides, and woods are the typical habitats for the species.[10] S. nigra is recorded as very common in Ireland in hedges as scrub in woods.[13][14]

Cultivation

Some selections and cultivars have variegated or coloured leaves and other distinctive qualities, and are grown as ornamental plants.

The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:[15]

  • S. nigra f. porphyrophylla ‘Eva’[16]
  • S. nigra f. laciniata[17]
  • S. nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Gerda' (syn. 'Black Beauty')[18]

Culinary uses

"
Elderberry jam

The dark blue or purple berries are mildly poisonous in their raw state.[19] Unripe berries, the seeds of the fruit, and all green parts of the plant are poisonous, containing cyanogenic glycosides (Vedel & Lange 1960). The berries are edible after cooking and may be used to make jam, jelly, chutney, and Pontack sauce. In Scandinavia and Germany, soup made from the elderberry (e.g. the German Fliederbeersuppe) is a traditional meal.

Commonly, the flowerheads are used in infusions, giving a very refreshing drink in Northern Europe and the Balkans. These drinks are sold commercially as Elderflower cordial.[20] In Europe, the flowers are made into a syrup or cordial (in Romanian: Socată, in Swedish: fläder(blom)saft, in Danish: hyldeblomstsaft / hyldedrik), which is diluted with water before drinking. The popularity of this traditional drink recently has encouraged some commercial soft drink producers to introduce elderflower-flavoured drinks (Fanta Shokata, Freaky Fläder). The flowers also may be dipped into a light batter and then fried to make elderflower fritters.

Both flowers and berries may be made into elderberry wine. In Hungary, an elderberry brandy is made that requires 50 kg of fruit to produce 1 litre of brandy. In south-western Sweden, it is traditional to make a snaps liqueur flavoured with elderflower. Elderflowers are used in liqueurs such as St-Germain, and in a mildly alcoholic sparkling elderflower 'champagne', although a more alcoholic home-made version can be made. In Beerse, Belgium, a variety of jenever called beers vlierke is made from the berries.

Traditional medicine

"
Sambuci flos: dried sambucus nigra flowers as used in herbal tea
"
The Jelly ear fungus is frequently found on elder trees and has medicinal and culinary uses

This plant is used as a medicinal plant by native peoples and herbalists.[21][22] Extracts of the flowers and fruits are used in bronchitis, cough, upper respiratory cold infections, and fever, and have recently been shown to reduce the incidence of cold, as well as shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms.[23][24] Topical extracts of the leaves and bark are also used.

Sambucus nigra fruits and flowers have been used in traditional Austrian medicine – internally (fruits as tea, jelly, juice, or syrup; flowers as tea or syrup) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and skin, and for viral infections, fever, colds, and influenza.[25][26] The first book about the medicinal properties of the plant was written by German physician Martin Blochwich in the 1620s.

The dried corollas and stamens of Sambucus nigra L. (Sambucus, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1949) have been used as a vehicle for eye and skin lotions, while the fruits are used to promote urination.[27]

Diseases

"
Elder whitewash fungus (Hyphodontia sambuci)

Like other elderberries, Sambucus nigra is subject to elder whitewash fungus and jelly ear fungus.

Wildlife value

"
An elder growing as an epiphyte on a sycamore

Elder rates as fair to good forage for animals such as mule deer, elk, sheep, and small birds. It is classified as nesting habitat for many birds, including hummingbirds, warblers, and vireos. Ripe elderberries are a favorite food for migrating band-tailed pigeons in northern California, which may sometimes strip an entire bush in a short time. It is also a larval host to the spring azure.[28]

It is good cover for large and small mammals as well.[29]

Poisonous to mammals

Except for the flowers and ripe berries (but including the ripe seeds), all parts of the plant are poisonous to mammals, containing the cyanogenic glycoside sambunigrin (C14H17NO6, CAS number 99-19-4).[30] The bark contains calcium oxalate crystals.

Other uses

The strong-smelling foliage was used in the past, tied to a horse's mane, to keep flies away while riding.

References

  1. ^ "Flora Europaea Search Results". Rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Sambucus nigra". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  3. ^ "Plants Profile for Sambucus nigra (black elderberry)". Plants.usda.gov. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Sambucus nigra". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b c RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Michael and Vikram: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  6. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.
  7. ^ "Elder (Sambucus nigra) - British trees -". Woodland Trust. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  8. ^ Clapham, A.R., Tutin, T.G. and Warburg, E.F. 1968 Excursion Flora of the British Isles Second Edition Cambridge.ISBN 0-521-04656-4
  9. ^ Vedel, H. and Lange, J. 1971. Trees and Bushes in Wood and Hedgerow. p.196. Methuen and Co. Ltd. ISBN 0416-61780-8
  10. ^ a b Parnell, J. and Curtis, T. 2012. Webb's An Irish Flora. Cork University Press. ISBN 978-185918-4783
  11. ^ "Sambucus mexicana". Calflora. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
  12. ^ "Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea". Calflora. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
  13. ^ Hackney, P. 1992. Stewarts and Corry's Flora of the North-east of Ireland. Institute of Irish Studies The Queen's University of Belfast. ISBN 0 85389 446 9(HB)
  14. ^ Webb, D.A., Parnell, J. and Doogue, D. 1996. An Irish Flora. Dundalgan Press Ltd, Dundalk. ISBN 0-85221-131-7
  15. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 95. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  16. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Sambucus nigra 'Eva'". Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  17. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Sambucus nigra f. laciniata AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
  18. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Gerda' PBR AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
  19. ^ Professor Julia Morton, University of Miami
  20. ^ Kikbracken, J. 1995. Easy way guide Trees. Larousse.
  21. ^ "Sambucus nigra Elderberry - European Elder, Black elderberry, American black elderberry, Blue elderberry, Europea PFAF Plant Database". Pfaf.org. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Mojave Desert Large Shrubs and Vines". Offroadinghome.djmed.net. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
  23. ^ http://claudiacopeland.com/uploads/3/5/5/6/35560346/_hjno_elderflowers_abb.pdf
  24. ^ Zakay-Rones, Z.; Thom, E.; Wollan, T.; Wadstein, J. (2004). "Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza a and B virus infections". The Journal of International Medical Research. 32 (2): 132–40. doi:10.1177/147323000403200205. PMID 15080016.
  25. ^ Vogl S, Picker P, Mihaly-Bison J, Fakhrudin N, Atanasov AG, Heiss EH, Wawrosch C, Reznicek G, Dirsch VM, Saukel J, Kopp B (7 October 2013). "Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine – An unexplored lore in vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs". J Ethnopharmacol. 149 (3): 750–771. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. PMC 3791396. PMID 23770053.
  26. ^ Tiralongo, Evelin; Wee, Shirley S.; Lea, Rodney A. (2016-03-24). "Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial". Nutrients. 8 (4): 182. doi:10.3390/nu8040182. ISSN 2072-6643. PMC 4848651. PMID 27023596.
  27. ^ Christophe Wiart (2006), Medicinal Plants of the Asia-Pacific: Drugs for the Future?, World Scientific, ISBN 981-256-341-5
  28. ^ The Xerces Society (2016), Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects, Timber Press.
  29. ^ "Sambucus nigra subsp. cerulea". Fs.fed.us. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  30. ^ Campa C, Schmitt-Kopplin P, Cataldi TR, Bufo SA, Freitag D, Kettrup A (2000). "Analysis of cyanogenic glycosides by micellar capillary electrophoresis". Journal of Chromatography B. 739 (1): 95–100. doi:10.1016/S0378-4347(99)00375-8. PMID 10744317.
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Sambucus nigra: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Sambucus nigra is a species complex of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae native to most of Europe and North America. Common names include elder, elderberry, black elder, European elder, European elderberry, and European black elderberry. It grows in a variety of conditions including both wet and dry fertile soils, primarily in sunny locations. Elder is cited as a poisonous plant for mammals, and as a weed in certain habitats.

The plant is a very common feature of hedgerows and scrubland in Britain and northern Europe, but also is widely grown as an ornamental shrub or small tree. Both the flowers and the berries have a long tradition of culinary use, primarily for cordial and wine.

The Latin specific epithet nigra means "black", and refers to the deeply dark colour of the berries. The English term for the tree is not believed to come from the word "old", but from the Anglo Saxon æld, meaning fire, because the hollow stems of the branches were used as bellows to blow air into a fire.

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