Elderberry Bushes

Broke Down Ranch

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I want to plant some elderberry bushes for the medicinal properties - is there any particular strain that is best or are all elderberry's good for teas and such?
 

StupidBird

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The birds "planted" mine. We made excellent jelly the last two years. I didn't even realize you could buy these - pretty weedy around here. I hack at the runners to keep it in one clump and not take over, and every winter cut to the ground the oldest canes, about a third of the stems.

So, there are varieties? Guess mine's just the wild kind. What kind of medicinals are you making? I saw in the herbal store they want over $20 for a little bottle of fruit juice concentrate with flower essences - what ever that means. So what I don't make into jelly, I'll juice. Saw recipe somewhere for a elderberry blossom cordial too that I'm thinking of trying.
What parts do you use for tea?
 

patandchickens

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I have NO clue 'bout medicinal properties... but for whatever it's worth, I have not even been able to FIND different named varieties around here.

So unless you have an actual source for such, it might be a moot point anyhow ;)

(And if you do have a source for different named varieties, try asking them -- you may well be able to figure out from their descriptions of how the cultivars differ, whether any are likelier to have more medicinal principles in them than others, or not)

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

2ndtimearound

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One thing interesting about them - they like wet feet. It is said that if one comes up voluntarily in your yard, there is a water source 10 - 30 feet down!

And no, I rarely, if ever, see varieties for sale. :rolleyes:
 

StupidBird

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2ndtimearound said:
One thing interesting about them - they like wet feet. It is said that if one comes up voluntarily in your yard, there is a water source 10 - 30 feet down!
Uh Oh! I knew about the wet feet, but that's kinda alarming. My main clump just might be over the water line, hope it isn't leaking. A clump I'm fighting to kill is on my foundation under a problematic downspout. Guess when it stops raining/freezing, I'll go do a line test for leaks. (That's shut the house main, mark what the meter at the street reads, check again in a few hours to see if it moved.)

We're on granite here, pretty shallow, so I guess it could have found a nice juicy fault line.

Oh, yeah, there's a poisonous species of sambucus (elderberry) out there somewhere, but the berries are red, not black. I'm going to try sumac and sassafras when I see some to dig up around here.
 

Broke Down Ranch

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I like elderberry in my tea when I have a cold. As well as chamomile and mint. The 2 main types I see being sold are Nova and York but what I see as being used for the teas is Common elderberry....
 

Hattie the Hen

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:frow :frow

There are many other varieties of elderberry, bred for their decorative value. They have black or golden or even varigated leaves. I have a golden one in my garden -- I planted it because the one I had in my previous home had given me endless pleasure as the tree seemed to herald Spring to me with it's golden glory. The black-leaved version produces pink flowers.

http://www.naturehills.com/catalog/Bushes_and_Shrubs/Elderberry_Bushes.aspx

http://www.raintreenursery.com/catalog/producttype.cfm?producttype=ELDER

In my area of the UK we are surrounded by the common version growing wild so it is easy to pick the flowers &/or the berries for cordials, syrups, jellies or chutneys etc. Elderberry syrup is marvellous for sore throats & colds; make it with good local honey.

:rose Hattie :rose
 

Sylvie

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I have had some elderberry wine made by a fruit winery in Ohio that was fantastic tasting. I can see Elderberry as a fruit juice for colds.
I think a combination of fruit juices, like elderberry, blackberry, blueberry, cherry and what ever else you have would provide all the fruit anthocyanins needed for optimum health. I buy the pricey "Verry Berry" concentrate:
http://www.heartfeltmedicine.com/index.php/products/proddetails/57/42/l_en

and think that I could can into small jelly jars the berry juices as they came in season for use throughout the year, mixing as needed to replicate "Verry Berry".

The above link contains clinical indications for flavonoids and anthocyanins which may be helpful in general.
 

Ohioann

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Elderberries were my dad's favorite and as a child I remember going out to farms where he had permission to pick and coming home with bushels. Then the work began of getting the berries off the stems. Mom would make fresh elderberry pies, freeze berries for winter pies, and made jelly. We never juiced them. I have a elderberries here where we live now and I make mostly jelly. I have seen elderberries listed in nursery catalogs so you might find descriptions of varieties there.
 
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