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Botanical name

Sambucus nigra

Plant Care




This plant bears large panicles of white flowers.

Common name(s)




This plant bears attractive leaves with a layered effect.

Uses in landscape design

Elder trees do well with clipping and training, and make excellent windbreaks, hedges and focal points. They also make a pretty specimen tree in a small garden.


Elders benefit from regular pruning.


This plant carries black berries.

Growth rate



Their white lacy flowers are delicious in cakes and fruit salads. The berries can be used to make make jam, cordials and wines.
Can be used to make an insect spray, the leaves of the elder are poisonous to peach tree borers, woolly aphids, whitefly, fungal diseases, and powdery mildew. Do not eat fruit and veg sprayed with elder, leave for two weeks and rinse before eating.
Medicinal – Elderberries are used in cough mixtures and elder flowers are used in many commercial beauty products for skin repair and rejuvenation. 

Interesting planting ideas

Plant elder tree near the compost heap, it helps break down the compost. The roots penetrate underneath the compost and helps break everything down. 
Most plants benefit the elder's insect repelling properties.

Interesting info

The elder tree is the source of elderberries, and it grows wild in many countries, including some parts of South Africa. It is a very useful plant and almost every part of it has medicinal value. The berries are commercially used in jams and fruit juices.

Other languages

Vlierbessie (A)


 Pick the flowers all through summer,but leave some for berries.

This plant bears large panicles of white flowers.

This plant bears attractive leaves with a layered effect.

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