I can’t describe the smell, but it’s so unique! With time and height the elderberry develops a familiar looking bark, smooth and brown. To read more about different colored elderberries, click here. When I read your description, I was left with absolutely no doubt. Technically they bloom all year but they prefer the spring starting around March. Some Indigenous Americans and early Europeans settlers referred to the plant as "toothache tree," but they valued the plant for much more than just treating toothaches. Enjoy your day. I have a small tree growing in my yard that I believe is an elderberry. When I tried to identify them, I was pretty certain (and shocked) it was water hemlock. Water Hemlock blossoms are small umbrellas that make up a larger umbrella. So you probably don't need to freak out. Then yesterday I saw (recognized) my first water hemlock.
It’s the right height (2-3′), grows in moist areas, has ridges along the leaf midvein (stem), though not a lot of purple.
The juice is ready for the next stage ie adding sugar! Judith, My tree ? Green, Thank you for your descriptions. At that time I hated to harvest them and have purple hands for about a week, now I would do anything to get them. Foraging should never begin without the guidance and approval of a local plant specialist. What a great article! They grow in clusters instead of a long cylindrical cone if that makes sense…picture Queen Anne’s Lace or Yarrow with berries and that’s what Elderberries looks like. Apparently, at a particular growth stage watercress and water hemlock look alike. It may be a plant called Niwatoko in Japanese, Sambucus sieboldiana. However I am anxious about whether I am doing the right thing considering the dangers/risks of making an error! These are the leaves of the American elder. They are woody. I always recommend folks to check 3-5 field guides when identifying a plant and to check with someone who can verify the plant before consuming. Thank you, Al, for your comments. They are used however to make a natural dye. Now the lenticels are corky lumps seen at left. Foraged greens like pokeweed need to be boiled two or three times to make the green palatable. The following is a “guest” post from my hubby- the guy who really knows his plants around here. I’m in northern Florida and I have a 7 foot bush with leaves and stems which look like water hemlock but the white flowers are like little pyramids ( nothing like elderberry or in the carrot family) and each year it gets purple fruit on the same little pyramid the flowers were on. I’m always surprised when identification guides don’t include this. Look for a 9 to 12 ft (2.7 to 3.7 m) tall shrub. I am familiar with Pokeweed but not elderberry in the wild. Spring is a good time to test your knowledge of identifying these two flowering shrubs, small trees. Because it is potent you will not find poke root easily in most health food stores.
American elders have no thorns or spines of any kind. You may need a small magnifying class to see that. What kind of berry is it? Ocassionally the entire older plant will be purple. I love the Eleder Lady flower! I was doing 70 down a desolate stretch of highway, but I knew what it was immediately. Water Hemlock doesnt get berries on it. Yet while the American elder, Sambucus canadensis, as well as the European Sambucus nigra, are well-researched, time-tested wild medicinals, devil's walking stick has a more complicated story. I still have to process it to make a drink etc. If the berries are green and red then they are toxic, and you don’t want to make them into jam!! I knew an elderly couple who used the dried leaves as their daily drink to stave off diabetes. Its difficult to remember all this. They love to grow on the outside of swamps and forests.
Such a big big world of plants out there. Someone gave me 4 gallons of frozen. (practice makes perfect). You will note that while each species’ leaf has an acute tip (pointed) the elderberry leaf is round near the tip whereas the water hemlock leaf is not. You will get many ideas to make the syrup. They were the best thing. The thicker, woody main stalk of Aralia spinosa. The veins of the elderberry leaf either fade as they reach the edge of the leaf or terminate at the tip of the teeth. It’s always good to get 3-5 sources for plant ID. 17 Replies. Pokeberries are about the size of peas with a dent in each berry. He says that he makes jelly and uses all the berries. Aralia is especially common in the southern half of the East Coast, but its range extends well into New England. HK. This species produces severe pain and convulsions, torturing its victim horribly until death. Another popular one was rheumatism: both Grieve and Benjamin Strobel, in his 1826 work The Medical Properties of the Aralia Spinosa, or Prickly Ash, mention the plant's effectiveness against rheumatism. Your article piqued my interest. Elderberry: Sambucus nigra I have included pictures of an elderberry look alike, Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana. It is usually at least purple at the nodes and sometimes young plants can be entirely dusky purple. Disclaimer: Information contained on this website is strictly and categorically intended as a reference to be used in conjunction with experts in your area. leaves are directly opposite each other. Most of the veins on the leaf either fade after leaving the midrib or terminate at the tip of the teeth, not in the notches. Mature elderberry plants can range from 9 to 12 feet (2.7 to 3.7 m) tall. I live in Clinton, MS and would love to find some elderberry plants. It produces, locally, black berries about BB size. thanks. The wood is toxic and has poisoned folks who have made whistles out of the green wood. The berries of pokeweed are NOT edible and can cause a very bad stomach ache and should not be eaten be children. If you are in a dry area that is dry most of the time and you think you have one or the other it will probably be an elderberry. We live in Summerfield which is in Central Florida…near Ocala. That’s the best description I’ve ever seen and certainly makes it clear for me. Elderberries are year round locally. Elderberry: Sambucus nigra I have included pictures of an elderberry look alike, Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana. Any help would be appreciated thanks. It seems they do not all ripen at the same time. The veins are most prominent as they leave the light-colored midrib. Amazon has a wide assortment of options for both adults and kids. The Water Hemlock information was very helpful, thank you. A student of mine recently brought in a branch with purple berries.
Both of them had it, but did not take any other medicine for it other than that. Central Florida is a border line area for growing Elderberry. Yes! All rights reserved. See those thorns? Stopped to check it out more closely. The main thing that makes these Dogwoods more likely candidates for elderberry confusion than other look-alikes like Pokeberry and Water Hemlock is the fact that they too are shrubs of very similar proportions (from 6-10′ high) to elderberry. I’m not finding a lot of ways to ID carrot family plants besides water/poison hemlock and wild carrot and a few others. about 1/4 is seeds floating on the top of the When foraging for elderberries, there are two look-alikes to keep in mind.
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