Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Herb Elderberry

The herb elderberry (Sambucus ebulus) is a perennial herb belonging to the family musk (Adoxaceae). The plant is native to Eurasia and is used in the ornamental garden. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Red List species in the plant as very rare and greatly reduced.

The leaves, fruits and seeds contain the glycosides and sambunigrin Pruna sine and therefore toxic. In contrast to those of ordinary elderberry (Sambucus nigra) berries are not edible!

The plant is 60-150 cm tall and has an unpleasant odor. The plant is a creeping rootstock (rhizome) and has a grooved, herbaceous stem. Odd-pinnate leaves have seven to eleven leaves and leaf-like, oval, serrated stipules.

The herb elderberry blossoms in July and August with reddish-white, fragrant flowers of bitter almonds. The inflorescence is a flat bunch. The anthers are red and red brown discoloration.

The fruit is a drupe with three black seeds. The seeds are dispersed by birds.

The plant is found on damp, calcareous soil along field and forest edges, on dikes and berms.

Names in other languages:

• German: Attich, Zwergholunder

• English: Dane Benson, Dwarf Elder

• French: hièble Sureau, Yèble


See also: International Flower Delivery, Florist

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