Elder (Sambucus nigra)

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Elder

The elder is a very common hedgerow tree, easily identified by its sweet-smelling creamy-white flowers in spring, and clusters of soft black berries in late summer and autumn. The leaves are opposite, and consist of about 5 or 6 leaflets arranged in pairs. When crushed, these smell similar to the berries.

The berries are rich in Vitamin C and much used for wine-making. They can also be made into jams and jellies, but will require the addition of pectin. Alternatively they can be boiled with sugar to make a rob.