|Elder (Sambucus Nigra)|
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
A native shrub or small tree, long cultivated and still well known for its aromatic white flowers and black berries used for cordial and wine-making. It has musk scented wood and leaves, the muscatel-scented flowers flavour sweet and savoury dishes . The berries give a port-like wine, and add flavour, colour and vitamin C to cordials, jams and pies, the buds can be pickled. The Elder yields green, violet and black dyes. A leaf brew can be used as an insecticide. Named the 'country medicine chest' for its many health uses it is also rich in European folklore. As the berries ripen, it is a sure sign that autumn is on its way.
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