By Linda Grimwade
Genus and Specie Sambucus nigra L
Also known as American elder , sweet elder and common elder. Elder is a large deciduous shrub with corky, gray-brown bark with feathery leaves. Tiny, scented cream flowers are borne in summer, followed by black berries.
Elder is a bitter, pungent, cooling herb. The flowers and fruits are used to lower fever, reduce inflammation, soothe irritation and have a diuretic and anti-mucus effect, while the leaves are insecticidal.