A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 55 – Elderberry

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

“In Flight – Elderberry” – Summer 2013 – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Not bad for a $90 camera…

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

So… My first experience with Sambucus was in the form of wine… Manischewitz to be exact… I was young and a friend had stolen it from his parents bar… It is not a great memory… In fact… I wouldn’t actually call it a memory… I just know it happened… My stomach still turns at the mere thought of the stuff…

So flash forward 15 years… I have become obsessed with Elderberry… I have studied the plant in books… And observed it in the wild… Last Summer I felt comfortable enough in my ability to propagate the plant successfully… I harvested some berries from a nearby park… I planted them last fall behind an abandoned house in the neighborhood… If the snow ever melts and Spring gets to getting on with its self… I will have a better idea if my method was successful…

Often times when dealing with wildflowers… The seeds require the cold of winter to germinate… This is known as stratification… It is a requirement of many temperate climate seeds and is a natural safety measure to insure the seed does not germinate right before the ground freezes… The result of which would be a dead seedling… Oftentimes the best way to germinate seeds harvested from the wild is to immediately plant them in your own garden before the ground freezes… This mimics what would happen in nature and will offer the highest success rates… Don’t complicate this stuff… Do as nature would do…

Elderberry is a very common plant in my part of the world… In some places it could even border on being a weed… I highly disagree with that concept… But I am just one guy in a country of approximately 317,518,000 people… In other words… I don’t matter… If you do find yourself having to remove one… Good luck… The roots grow deep and the wood is very hard… The roots are like wire and they don’t cut easily… There is honestly not an easy way to remove it without the use of machinery…

Elderberry is on the short list of plants that I think will one day be named a “super-food” like Goji or Acai berries… I am not a nutritionist… Hell… I am not even a healthy eater… But I can predict a scam… And I personally see Elderberry being the next Noni juice… It has the type of health benefits that can be easily blown out of proportion… Now I am not trying to say it is unhealthy or doesn’t deserve attention as a natural food and medicine… Because it does… I just hate when medicines that have been in use for thousands of years suddenly becomes trendy… The resulting exploitation leaves a bad taste in every ones mouth and the result is the plant disappearing into obscurity for another thousand years…

Elderberry is not just known for its berries… The wood is used to make flutes… And the plant as a whole is a staple in folklore… I believe some of the best wands are made of elderberry… If you are into that kind of thing… I actually have a thing with wood that has been struck by lightning… Think about it… How often can you hold something that has been touched by the sky… I haven’t found much of it… But I plan on stepping up the search this summer… Anyway… I dream of finding an elderberry that has been struck by lightning… A sacred plant touched by a sacred event… A guy can dream…

Another post got away from me… I could ramble on about this plant for a few hours… I guess I will just have to save it for a summer evening around the fire…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elderberry

These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… You can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com

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One thought on “A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 55 – Elderberry

  1. Aggie says:

    Thanks for going on for awhile! We have some by the pond. We didn’t know what it was and cut it down. I’m looking forward to elderberry jelly next summer.

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