Sambucus is a genus of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae. The various species are commonly called elder or elderberry. The genus was formerly placed in the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae, but was reclassified as Adoxaceae due to genetic and morphological comparisons to plants in the genus Adoxa.
They bear large clusters of small white or cream-colored flowers in late spring; these are followed by clusters of small black, blue-black, or red berries (rarely yellow or white).
We will donate a percentage to regenerating our forests.
Elderberries are rich in anthocyanidins that combine to give elderberry juice an intense blue-purple coloration that turns reddish on dilution with water. These pigments are used as colorants in various products, and “elderberry juice color” is listed by the USFDA as allowable in certified organic food products.
In Japan, elderberry juice is listed as an approved “natural color additive” under the Food and Sanitation Law. Fibers can be dyed with elderberry juice (using alum as a mordant) to give a light “elderberry” color. Elderberry fruit or flowers are used as dietary supplements for minor diseases, such as flu, colds, constipation, and other conditions, often served as a tea, extract, or in a capsule
UK sourced and grown: Every sapling that we use is UK sourced and grown to minimise the risk of importing and spreading tree pests and diseases. Seeds are collected and stored in the UK, and they are all coded and batched so that we can track each individual tree.
In Northern California, elderberries are a food for migrating band-tailed pigeons. Elders are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including brown-tail, buff ermine, dot moth, emperor moth, engrailed moth, swallow-tailed moth and the V-pug.
The crushed foliage and immature fruit have a strong fetid smell. Valley elderberry longhorn beetles in California are very often found around red or blue elderberry bushes. Females lay their eggs on the bark.
The pith of elder has been used by watchmakers for cleaning tools before intricate work.
Raw elderberries are 80% water, 18% carbohydrates, and less than 1% each of protein and fat (table). In a 100 gram amount, elderberries supply 73 calories and are a rich source of vitamin C, providing 43% of the Daily Value (DV). Elderberries also have moderate contents of vitamin B6 (18% DV) and iron (12% DV).
The flowers of Sambucus nigra are used to produce elderflower cordial. St-Germain, a French liqueur, is made from elderflowers. Hallands Fläder, a Swedish akvavit, is flavoured with elderflowers. Despite the similarity in name, the Italian liqueur sambuca is mostly made with star anise and fennel essential oils extracted by vapor distillation.
It also contains elderflower extracts with which it is flavored to add a floral note, to smooth and round off the strong licorice flavor.
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