Ever hear of an elderberry?


elderberry bushes

Elderberries in full bloom being pollinated by a bee!

Until a few years ago, elderberry was unknown to this family.  One of Big Boss’s school buddies was visiting us as I nursed a cough and cold.  He told me about elderberry juice.  Since drinking a little each morning, he hadn’t had a cold…for years!

And because I’ll pick a natural preventative ANY DAY over pharmaceutical cures, I headed to the liquor store for some elderberry juice.  Yes, I said liquor store.  And you can’t buy it the regular part of the store.  There’s a special little section for it.  No, I don’t know why but I’m sure there’s a perfectly logical government regulation behind it…


elderberry blooms

In researching the elderberry, I learned that it, like the goji berry and blueberry…and other berries…are loaded with all sorts of good stuff!  Elderberries are said to contain more Vitamin C than oranges, are anti-flamatory, reduce arthritic pain, cures colds, increases oxygen flow, fight viral infections…and are cram jammed full of antioxidants.

I also learned that elderberries can be grown here in the Midwest.  In fact, there’s an elderberry “vineyard” down the road about 200 miles!  That gave me the green light to get some plants ordered last year.  If elderberries are good for you, imagine how much better for you they might be IF you grew them yourselves!?  Right?

So, I planted tiny little plants from Stark Brothers last year.  They not only survived the hot, dry summer of 2014 but they thrived!


There are 4 plants here, as tall as the shed!

And this spring they grew like weeds.  And kinda looked like weeds. But..they bloomed and grew and bloomed some more.

elderberry plants

This bunch is just turning into berries. They’ll be a deep purple at maturity.

So far my experiment is a winner.  I have netting for them and the blackberries and grapes.  The birds are going on a diet this summer!!

Hopefully, we’ll have a decent first crop of berries.  I’d like to juice them and maybe dry some…for tea.  I know.  I’m counting my chickens before they hatch. Patience. Patience.

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19 Responses to Ever hear of an elderberry?

  1. Fancy Nancy says:

    Wow, You got my attention. I did not know about elderberries. Knew about blueberries,, but I limit my fruit intake. Must check this out for my ‘bêtes. I’m not sure growing them is in the cards for me though. 🙂 Thanks for posting…


  2. Jana Rima says:

    I will remember this…I can’t take cough meds…am allergic to them…


  3. kathrynruthd says:

    Very common over here in the UK. Elderflower cordial gets mixed with other fruit juices and is sold commercially. Particularly good with apple or gooseberry. Also, we make homemade wine from the flowers and the berries – picking both from local hedgerows in the countryside rather than growing it at home. Possibly not quite as prevalent as it once was as farmers tend to cut hedgerows back before anyone has a chance to forage.


  4. Kitty says:

    My friend brought me some berries she ordered from the health food site (pd $10 for enough to make a quart – you may be sitting on a gold mine). I’ve had a hacking cough for years. It’s gotten so confounded aggravating, I dropped out of the choir (my “one” thing). I couldn’t see that it made a difference. I’ll be waiting to hear how successful your crop is for curing a cough.


  5. I took it all last winter and stayed healthy.


  6. The Queen says:

    I had one bout of crud and am pretty sure I picked it up from little ones… also hadn’t been taking my juice as per usual. Duh.


  7. heartfelt4 says:

    Debbie, we sell an elderberry called ‘Black Lace’, sambucus nigra, which has dark purple / black foliage. It has been touted to mimic the look, and hence be a substitute for, the Disectum Japanese Maple, which is difficult to grow in our cold climate because of its fine foliage and temperate climate needs. Here are some links…



    Hope y’all are doing well! 🙂



  8. heartfelt4 says:

    PS: The second link is of a Disectum Japanese Maple 😉


  9. Teuchter says:

    Like kathrynruthD, my late Mom used to make Elderflower wine. Not sure what happened one year but the corks popped off with such force that they dented the pantry ceiling!! Elderflower cordial is available for purchase in some better grocery stores here – also mixed with other juices IIRC. Haven’t bought any for a while but I quite liked it.


    • The Queen says:

      Glory be!! She lives!!! So glad to see you Teuchter! Your mom’s elderberry wine story is similar to my mother-in-law’s cabbage story. Well, I was invoved too…let’s just say we were cleaning up the basement ceiling for a long time!!


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