You can begin harvesting the berries in late summer of the second year after planting.
USDA Growing Zone(s): Elderberry grows well in zones 3-8.
Native to North America and parts of Europe, this superfood is packed with vitamin C for a healthy immune system. Elderberry prefers moist, fertile, and well-draining soil with a pH between 5.5-6.5. Give elderberry a spot in your garden with full sun.
Elder flowers and berries have a long tradition of medicinal use in North America and Europe. The stems and leaves of this plant are poisonous if ingested. Elder flowers and berries are often prepared as a tea, tincture, syrup, and infused honey.
The berries have traditionally been used as an immune stimulant and tonic, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, diaphoretic, anticatarrhal, and anti-inflammatory. The flowers have traditionally been used for properties such as immune tonic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, anticatarrhal, and astringent.
Stories & Traditions
The berries are also used to make wines, cordials, preserves, and other culinary treats.
Archaeological evidence shows that people have used the elderberry tree since 2000 BC. The wood of the elder tree is flexible, an ideal quality for making musical instruments. It also has a rich folklore, even into modern times. In ancient Europe, some societies considered the elder tree sacred and believed a spirit in the plant could protect or cause harm. And if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll recall that the Elder Wand is a particularly revered and important object in the wizarding world.
This content is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine.