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Sambucus Nigra or Elder Bush is a deciduous shrub.




Images of Sambucus Nigra at google.com

Sambucus Nigra is most commonly called Elder, Elderberry, Black Elder, European Elder, European Elderberry, European Black Elderberry, Common Elder, or Elder Bush is a deciduous shrub.

Overview of Sambucus Nigra

• It grows in a variety of conditions including both wet and dry fertile soils, primarily in sunny locations.
• It is a deciduous shrub or small tree.
• It grows to a height of 4–6 m (rarely to 10 m).
• The bark, light gray when young, changes to a coarse gray outer bark with lengthwise furrowing.
• 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 hermaphrodite flowers are borne in large corymbs 10–25 cm diameter in mid summer.
• The individual flowers are white, 5–6 mm diameter, with five petals.
• They are pollinated by flies.
• The fruit is a dark purple to black berry 3–5 mm diameter.
• It is produced in drooping clusters in the late autumn.
• They are an important food for many fruit-eating birds, notably Black caps.
• The dark blue/purple berries can be eaten when fully ripe but are mildly poisonous in their unripe state.
• All green parts of the plant are poisonous, containing cyanogenic glycosides.
• The berries are edible after cooking and can be used to make jam, jelly, chutney and Pontack sauce.
• The flower heads are commonly used in infusions.
• This plant is traditionally used as a medicinal plant by many native peoples and herbalists alike.
• Stem bark, leaves, flowers, fruits, and root extracts are used to treat bronchitis, cough, upper respiratory cold infections, fever.

Growing/Caring conditions of Sambucus

• Plant at least two different cultivators of elderberry bushes to facilitate fertilization.
• Position the bushes in an area of full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil near an outer boundary of your property.
• The branches of mature bushes become weighed down with berry clusters in late summer.
• So, put them in a location that doesn’t interfere with walkways, lawn mowing or nearby plants sunlight requirements.
• Water elderberry bushes frequently during their first year in the garden to keep the surrounding soil consistently moist.
• Once established, both American and European elderberries tolerate drought conditions.
• They may exhibit reduced flowering and berry yields unless watered during extended dry periods.
• Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch in a 3- to 4-foot-wide area around Sambucus bushes.
• In addition to retaining moisture in the soil and suppressing weeds, you can easily see and remove the suckers that sprout up around the bushes’ bases.
• Prune elderberries in early spring before the leaves begin to open.
• During the first two years, allow five to seven of the bush’s multiple stems to grow freely.
• Cut any new stems that emerge down to ground level to keep the plant from becoming leggy.
• Once an elderberry bush is more than 6 to 8 feet tall, prune away up to half of its branches to maintain an attractive, symmetrical appearance.
• Prune back stems more than 3 years old to the ground to allow new stems to grow for more vigorous fruit production.
• Examine elderberry bushes routinely for signs of fungus disease.
• If twig canker appears, immediately cut the entire stem back to the ground and burn it or discard in the trash.
• Watch for any stems that die back, a problem that may be caused by elder shoot borers.
• Cut the dead stems away in the autumn and discard to prevent the pests from overwintering in the plant.
• Protect your elderberry crop from birds by covering the entire bush with lightweight netting.





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