Including elderberries in your diet can strengthen your immune system. Elderberries have effective anti-viral benefits. Elderberries are often used as a natural remedy for colds and flus.
The elderberry sambucus canadensis is a medium shrub with white flowers called a cyme. When ripe, the cyme contains a multitude of dark purple fruits. As is implied through their wide distribution, elderberry plants can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions and can be grown as an ornamental plant, or for the purpose of harvesting flowers or fruits. While the flowers and fruits of this plant are edible, the leaves, twigs, branches, seeds, and roots of sambucus plants may contain a cyanidin glycoside. We advise you to de-stem and cook elderberries before consuming.
At Blue Fruit Farm, we grow the cultivated varieties of York, Johns, Adams, Nova, Wyldewood, Bob Gordon, and Ranch. Some were purchased as nursery stock from Saint Lawrence Nursery in upstate New York. The Bob Gordon, Wyldewood, and Ranch were originally obtained from Terry Durham of River Hills Harvest in Missouri.
Jim now propagates our own nursery stock replacements. The new plantings come from our own cuttings propagated in peat moss and vermiculite.
Elderberries have a wide range of uses, but is most suited for processing due to the mild astringent taste. Perhaps most common in the United States is elderberry wine, though elderberry cordial is also well-liked. The berries also make delicious jellies, juices, syrups, salad dressings, and can be used to enhance barbecue sauces. Historically, it has been used for its medicinal properties, taken as a tincture or concentrate. The fruits, leaves, and inner bark can all be used to produce dyes. There are some reports of the inner bark having insecticidal properties.