The elderberry is a beautiful flowering shrub, renowned for its edible fruits which also delight birds.
In summary, what you need to know:
Last name : Sambucus nigra
Family : Adoxaceae
Type : Shrub
Height : 2 to 3 m
Exposure : Sunny or partial shade
Ground : Indifferent
Foliage : Expired -Flowering : June to July - Elderberry harvest : August to September
The elderberry can be planted indifferently, in the fall or in the spring.
But prefer a plantation in the falle to facilitate recovery in the spring. If you must plant in the spring, schedule regular watering at the start to help anchor the roots to the soil.
He loves the sun and any type of soil, whether calcareous, wet or rather dry.
- Follow our advice planting shrubs
- In hedges we can vary the varieties, for example with a purple elderberry, for a very decorative effect
Pruning and caring for elderberry
The elderberry is a low-maintenance tree because it is easy to grow and hardy against most diseases.
In order to reinforce the beautiful coloring of elderberry, cut back the branches by about 1/3 in early spring.
He likes rich soils but adapts to ordinary soils, if the earth is not too compact. Planted preferably in autumn, in the sun or in partial shade, it grows quickly to reach two to three meters in three years. Flowers appear in the second year.
There are different wild and horticultural varieties, the latter allowing for smaller trees. Its flowers are pink to cream, its leaves can be purple ("Black Beauty", "Black Lace") or variegated ("Albovariegata").
Maintenance is minimal: just remove a third of the old wood in early spring, and mulch in summer.
All you need to know about elderberry
The elderberry offers light foliage, a discreet and colorful flowering and almost black fruits which are the delight of birds.
It is usually found at the edge of fields as a wild hedge, but this beautiful shrub grows easily cultivates.
With its white and fragrant umbels in spring, its berries in autumn and its purple or variegated foliage, the "fairy tree", as it is nicknamed in Brittany, has its place in any garden. It can compose a backdrop, complete a country hedge, or be grown as a tree - removing its low branches - in a small space.
We consumes both fruits and flowers which are even made into wine in the Nordic countries. However, we avoid consuming raw berries as they are slightly toxic and induce vomiting.
Elderberry offers a pleasant scent with its sweet scent of vanilla.
Finally, know that you will make excellent elderberry elderberry jellies, lemonades and syrups because, once cooked, they give a very pleasant and quite edible aroma.
Are elderberries edible?
Every part of the elderberry can be used in the garden or in the kitchen. Its flowers are eaten in donuts or are used in the composition of syrups, liquors, lemonades, wines ... Dried, in infusion, they make a calming herbal tea. The berries, rich in vitamin C, are eaten cooked in jellies, compotes (with apples) and jams.
Its fruits are edible but, be careful, only the black elderberry (Sambucus Nigra) is, other elderberries are not.
It is imperative to cook the berries in order to remove any risk of toxicity.
If in doubt, find out ... you may have some stomach problems.
In the garden, the elderberry is a real inn. In spring, its flowers attract butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects; in summer, its berries are a feast for birds.
Its leaves, which decompose very quickly, are good compost activators. They can also be used as a decoction to fight against flea beetles, aphids and moths. Macerate 1 kg of leaves in 10 liters of water for a day, boil everything for 30 minutes, filter and spray on your crops. By letting the leaves macerate for three days without boiling them, you will obtain a repellent against moles, field mice and voles.
Elder manure is a great way to treat plants in an ecological way against certain parasites such as aphids where the caterpillars.
Elderberry manure recipe :
- 1 kg of leaves in 10 l of water left to ferment for 3 to 6 days and then filtered before using as a spray.
Smart tip about elderberry
The elderberry grows very quickly, which makes it a very good shrub to quickly hide from view.
Also read on shrubs:
- Properly prune your shrubs
- The hedge, the best defense against disease