Subcribe to our newsletter for special offers, tips on growing and caring for your herbs, fabulous herb recipes, upcoming shows and much more!
The elder, or Sambucus nigra is a beautiful deciduous tree which can grow to 10m tall. A native to Britain and Europe, the Sambucus nigra will flourish in a British climate and will need to be cut nack in late autumn to prevent it from becoming too dominant in a garden setting.
This hardy variety will add a touch of glamour to the garden with its distinctive fine-leaved purple foliage and flat white flower heads in early summer, followed by dark purple berries in the autumn. These flowers and berries can be harvested before they fade and used in cooking: add flowers to gooseberries to add flavour, and cordials, fritters and sorbets are improved with the addition of the flowers. The berries are added to blackberry jam or made into a syrup for treating colds.
Preferring well-drained, humus rich soil, elder will do well in sun or partial shade.
CAUTION: All parts of the fresh plant are toxic and flowers and berries can only be used once cooked.