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Elder Flower

Elder Flower
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You will receive
- 1 Elder Flower Herb Plant in a 50 X 75mm tube - General growing instructions

All of our Herb Plants are grown organically with certified organic potting mixes and fertilizers

Number of Question: 15
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Elderflower is very high in antioxidants and vitamins and has traditional uses in treating respiratory illnesses and topical application for skin complaints.

- Growing Conditions   - Medicinal Uses   - Culinary Uses

Elder Flower
Botanical Name: Sambuccus canadensis

Elderflower, S. canadensis is also known as the North American elder and has been reclassified to a subspecies of S. nigra, along with the European or black elder. S.nigra is popularly cultivated in Europe and because the two varieties are so similar, the American elder is not cultivated commercially. It can be found growing naturally in wet, swampy areas across much of eastern and central North America and Canada.

As well as forming part of the edible garden, it can also be used as a feature plant in the garden. The dark green, compound leaves are pinnate or bipinnate with leaflets arranged oppositely around the stem, creating an overall length of up to 30 cm or more. Each leaflet has serrate edges, is quite large and may measure 3-12cm long by 2-6cm wide. The fragrant white flowers are large and bloom in inflorescences or clusters, about 30 cm in width. These are followed by the blue berry like fruits, but the plant may have both flowers and fruit for several weeks.

There are many uses for the fruit of the elderflower plant, as both a food and a health supplement. The many varieties of elder have been used all over the world for many centuries. Native Americans valued elderflower as a medicinal herb and used it to treat many conditions. Other uses included repelling insects and creation of a black dye from the bark.

Growing Conditions

Elderflower, or elderberry, is a vigorous, soft leafed deciduous shrub that can grow from 3-4 meters. The elderberry plant is quite adaptable to Australian conditions and will grow in most soil types, including wet soils. This plant likes full sun, but is happy to grow in part shade as well. After flowering, the fruit appears in late summer and the stems may droop under the weight of hundreds of small berries. Choose your position carefully, as this multi-stemmed plat suckers upwards and spreads. You may choose to grow it in a pot for this reason, or use a root barrier in the garden.

Medicinal Uses

Elderberry has a long history of medicinal use and although the American elderflower plant is not widely cultivated, research has indicated that there is great potential in its general health benefits. Elderberries have been found to have a high concentration of compounds known for their antioxidant activity and have greater potential health benefits than blueberries and cranberries. In addition, they have a much higher content of Vitamins A, C and B6 than other berries.

The traditional uses of elderflower plants involved the whole plant, with teas and tinctures made from the bark and fruit used for many ailments. Caution is advised using the raw plant products due to potential toxicity. However, elderflower has been used for a wide array of complaints such as stomach ache, constipation, diarrhoea and acts as a laxative and diuretic. However, most commonly the plant has been used as a topical application to treat fungal and bacterial infections, bruises, skin conditions, and as an anti-inflammatory application for wounds. Traditional uses also include for sore throats, coughs and respiratory infections, where it is thought to reduce swelling of mucous membranes. A tea to assist with cold and flu can be made by steeping 3-5grams of dried elder flower in one cup of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Strain the flowers off and then drink three times daily. It also combines well with peppermint and yarrow to make the popular blend YEP tea for colds and flu.

Culinary Uses

Elderberry has a bitter taste when uncooked and must NOT be used in its raw state. Uncooked berries and other parts of the elder family of plants contain cyanide inducing glycosides and can be extremely toxic. Caution is advised before using raw or dried fruits.

However, both the flowers and berries have a wide array of culinary uses. The flowers can be covered in batter and made into fritters, soaked in water to make a drink or dried flowers can be used to make a pleasant tea. The fruits are popularly cooked or made into syrups for pies, jams, jellies, sauces and other desserts. They can also be added to other food, such as bread rolls once made into syrup. Wine, beer and other drinks may also be made from the berries and the flowers used as decoration in desserts.

Elderberry syrup can be made from your own fruit and used on pancakes or added to water for a nice summer drink. Try this recipe: Take 1 cup each of water, fresh elderberries and granulated sugar and combine with ½ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally and then let simmer for 20 minutes, with occasional stirring. You can also try variations by adding honey or cloves to your taste.

All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.

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Unfortunatley we cannot post Herb Plants to WA and TAS

Herb Plants are only sent on a Monday & Tuesday to avoid sitting in post office over weekend.

We ship Herb Plants via Express Post satchels. Browse our store for more herbs and we can send them together, below is the Postage rates for Herb Plants.

You can buy Herb Plants with any other product. The shipping rates will add together in checkout.

Australia Wide
1 - 3 Herbs$9.35
4 - 8 Herb$12.95
9 - 20 Herbs$20.70
21 - 23 Herbs$30.05
24 - 30 Herbs$33.65
31 - 40 Herbs$41.40
41 - 48 Herbs$54.35
49 - 60 Herbs$62.10
61 - 68 Herbs$75.05
69 - 80 Herbs$82.80
81 - 100 Herbs$90.00

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Questions on Elder Flower

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  • From Sandra at 31/12/11 11:55 AM
    • What growing conditions are needed for Elderflower? Will in grow in southern Victoria? How high does it grow?
    • Elderflower will grow in Southern Victoria. They grow to approx 3m. They are quite hardy, like a sunny spot and will take most soil types.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Becka at 15/05/12 11:46 PM
    • Two questions. 1) Is this the plant to make elderflower cordial from? 2) Will it grow in Ballarat?

    • Yes, the flowers can be made into cordial. Yes it will grow in Ballarat.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Tasia at 25/05/12 9:23 PM
    • Hi, Great service and super fast postage, thanks! However, my elder plant is begining to yellow on the lower leaves. I've had her about a week and a half, followed the instructions in your leaflet, it is coming on winter here in Newcastle. Is it not enough sun or too cold at night considering it's come from the gold coast? She's in a pot about twice the size of what she arrived in, ceramic, sealed on the outside and sits on my front step getting sun from 1000 - sunset
    • Hi Tasia, They are semi deciduous in cold climates. Did you give it some complete fertiliser organic extra or some sort of slow release fertiliser. They are a hardy plant. Kind regards Sandra
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Stefanie Huber at 17/08/12 9:11 PM
    • Do Elderflowers need also need a sunny spot here on the Sunshine Coast?
    • They flower better when they get more sun. Elder does sucker up here in our climate so choose growing position carefully.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No
  • From Diane Bradford at 8/10/12 2:57 PM
    • How long is it until the plant flowers
    • They flower in their first year. The peak flowering is spring summer.
    • Do you find this question helpful?  Yes   No

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