Elderberry Bonanza!


<p class=”drop-cap”>I was just in northern Wisconsin this last week and in the northwoods Elder is still blooming.  Those berries won’t be ripe until autumn is nearly upon us.  Here in southern Minnesota, in the city my Elderberry bush is situated with southern exposure and it’s dripping with ripe berries.</p>

Elderberries are one of the most popular herbal remedies and wild or semi-wild foods.  Elderblossoms and berries are safe, effective, delicious and versatile.  We can make tinctures, syrups, oxymels, elixirs, fermented drinks, baked goods, in fact, we are limited only by our own creativity.  In celebration of the abundance I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite Elder  resources and listed them below.

I’ve also created a pinterest board devoted to Elder with many more resources. Pop over to pinterest and check it out. I promoise,  no lame pins with a nice picture that lead you to absent, derivative or overly commercial content.I hate that.

Finally, if you don’t have access to an Elderberry bush this season or you don’t have time to make your own syrup, I have syrup in the shop available for purchase.

Happy berrying!  If you make something amazing or you find a really unique recipe or preparation, let me know. I love to see what other folks are up to.

girl with syrup

My Elderberry Syrup recipe and tutorial

My comprehensive article about Elderblossoms

I love this monograph from the American Botanical Council.  12 pages + references…it’s a good l0ok at the scientific research that’s been done on Elderberry.  It’s a pdf. Scroll down the monograph page; it’s the first one listed.

Kiva Rose Elderberry Elixir and Into the Forest: Exploring Elderberry and Eldermother Immune Elixir

Do you like a big formula with lots of herbs?  Here’s Rebecca Altman’s Elderberry Elixir recipe.  You will also enjoy her lovely writing and photos.

Hank Shaw’s roundup of Elderberry Recipes. This is a great website for the forager.

Norms  Farm is an Elderberry business from North Carolina. Their blog is an amazing resource full of recipes, growing information, identification info and more.

Whispering Earth, a lovely herbal blog from the UK has several Elder related articles.

A short piece by one of my favorite herbalist, Paul Bergner of Medical Herbalism.

David Hoffmann’s Materia Medica entry on Elder.


syrup class one


    1. Yes! The red is generally considered to be toxic. So don’t harvest it. As far as difference for identification purposes/botanical differences, there are many. Red Elder tends to grow in the shade and if there is one there are often many. Black Elderberry grows generally out in the open, along the banks of streams and ponds and in ditches and hedgerows.

      Red Elderberry blooms earlier in MN, in May. Black Elderberry blooms in June. Mine in my garden is blooming right now. Sometimes outside of the city, it is even later.

      The flower/berry clusters of red Elder are more conical shaped. The clusters of black Elderberry are very flat.

      The red elderberries go from green to red. There’s no intermediary purple stage. The Black elderberry berries go from green to purple, there’s no intermediary red stage.

      They are quite simple to tell apart if you pay attention to the details!

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