Latin Name: Sambucus nigra
Plant Family: Adoxaceae
Other Names: Black Elder, Common Elder, Pipe Tree, Bore Tree, Judas Tree, Lady Ellhorn, Whistle Tree, Old Lady, Hylder, Hylantree, Eldrum, Ellhorn, Hollunder & Sureau.
Description: The flowers of the elder are borne in clusters approximately 10–25 cm in diameter they are creamy white in colour and give off a characteristic odour, which some people say smells ‘catty’. The individual flowers in the cluster are between 5–6 mm in diameter, with five petals.
Brief History: Elder is surrounded by a profusion of folk lore and stories relating to the use of the wood, berries and flowers, it has more lore associated with it than almost any other herbs, the flowers are said to be more potent if picked on Midsummer’s Eve, and washes for the face have been made by young maidens to help whiten the complexion and stave off freckles.
SUGGESTED USEThe dried flowers can be used to make sweet syrups or to flavour jellies and ice-creams. They can also be turned into vinegar, cordial and wine. Cooked with gooseberries or rhubarb they add a Muscat wine flavour to the finished dish.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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