The Elderberry (Sambucus Canadensis) is a shrub that is well in bloom by the middle of June. It may average 8 feet in height with conspicuous flat-topped clusters of small white flowers. Elderberry shrubs prefer low grounds and moist areas along woodland edges; most noticeably in my area are plants that can be seen on the opposite side of a river from your point of view.
Although elderberry jelly and wine are popular, it is interesting to remember that the stems have large white pith and can be easily hollowed out. These hollowed stems have been used as bean shooters, whistles, etc. Experts say that some children have been poisoned by having these hollowed stems in their mouths: upset stomachs and diarrhea may be caused by the poisonous contact with these hollowed stems.
Copyright © 2004 William T. Hathaway.