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Sambucus canadensis

American elder berries make a good, but seedy pie.

American elder flower.

American elder berries before they are ripe.

  • 'Sambucus' was derived from the word for an ancient musical instrument and refers to the elder stems, which are filled with soft pith that is easily removed to form a flute or whistle.

  • Birds and other animals frequently eat the fruits and can disperse seeds over a great distance.

  • Jams, jellies, pies, and wines are made from the berries, and flowers have been used medicinally and for adding flavor to confections such as candies and jellies.

  • Bark and roots have been used for tanning leather and bark, stems, leaves, flowers, and berries have been used in dyes for coloring leather and fabric.