Author Topic: Is this an elderberry or not?  (Read 7474 times)

0 Members and 4 Guests are viewing this topic.

Online Simon

  • Jnr. Jedi
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2261
    • Swindon Climate Action Network
Is this an elderberry or not?
« on: September 13, 2009, 04:23:40 PM »
A bush seeded itself in my garden a few years ago and it's currently bearing some berries which look like this



Last year I hired a gardening expert from the LETS group to dig my garden, and she said it's definitely not an elderberry, but I think this year is the first time it's borne any full-grown fruit.

So what do the good people of TS think - do I have a wild elderberry bush growing in my garden? Or more to the point, if I make jam or something out of the berries, am I likely to die horribly?


We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Chav

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Female
  • INNIT!
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2009, 04:50:20 PM »
Hmmm
It certainly looks elderberry-ish.

I found these pictures on the net to compare yours with



Quote
ELDERBERRY

COMMON NAME : Elderberry

LATIN NAME : Sambucus nigra

ACTIVE SUBSTANCES : Anthocyanins polyphenol

DESCRIPTION : Elderberries are a black, soft-skinned berry from the black elder (Sambucus nigra L.).

BIOCHEMISTRY : Elderberries are one the richest source of anthocyanins, which are the largest group of water soluble pigments in plants. Anthocyanins stimulate the body's immune system by increasing the production of disease-fighting lymphocytes.

INDICATIONS : Throughout the world, elderberries have been used for centuries as a remedy for colds, flu and fever. In a study conducted in Israel, an elderberry extract was used during a flu epidemic. Within 24 hours of taking the extract, 20 percent of the patients had dramatic improvements in flu symptoms. By the second day, 73 percent were improved; by the third day, 90 percent. Only 16 percent of the untreated group felt better after two days; a majority of the untreated group took almost a week to begin to feel better.

TOXICITY AND CAUTIONS : None

Above information taken from:http://www.nutrimart.com/Bulk/Description/elderber.htm (accessed on 13/09/09)

Elderberry wine is good - especially the low Acidity type  O0
I know someone who makes it and it is the best wine I have tasted - so if you decide to make some......... remember the Chav  ;)
I am offering to be chief taster  :angel:
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline kecl

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 377
  • Gender: Male
    • Broad Street Area Community Council
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2009, 06:52:27 PM »
I'm pretty sure that's not elderberry Simon.

It looks similar but elderberries normally come in bunches of far more fruit than in your photo, and the leaves have serrated edges.

http://community.webshots.com/user/bucket66   http://www.broadstreetcc.btik.com/ He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with

Online Simon

  • Jnr. Jedi
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2261
    • Swindon Climate Action Network
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2009, 07:46:51 PM »
It looks similar but elderberries normally come in bunches of far more fruit than in your photo, and the leaves have serrated edges.

I thought the numbers of berries looked a bit small, although I though I could put that down to the fact that it's growing in the part of the garden where the soil is so heavy with clay that I've given up hope of growing any veg there; hence why I left it to go wild.

Good point regarding the serrated leaves though. Although I see that what I've got growing more closely resembles the top of the two photos Chav posted than the other one (particularly the colours of the berries and the stalks), and in that top photo the leaves seem less serrated than in the other one.

Could it be a reasonably close relative? Or some kind of random hybrid? Or is it more likely to be something completely different?

And is there a safe way of working out whether it's edible?

Elderberry wine is good - especially the low Acidity type  O0
I know someone who makes it and it is the best wine I have tasted - so if you decide to make some......... remember the Chav  ;)
I am offering to be chief taster  :angel:

If you'd experienced my last attempt at making wine I'm sure you wouldn't be so keen to offer  ;D
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Offline Mart

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5192
  • Where's my cow?
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 08:33:36 PM »
It does look like your bush is your entree to a whole community. http://www.elderberries.com/elderberry-sambucus-info/

I think this link has your answer http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=43283 but if it is right you probably can't join www.elderberries.com.

Make a paste with the berries, dip arrows in it and shoot things. If they die the berries are definitely poisonous.
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline kecl

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 377
  • Gender: Male
    • Broad Street Area Community Council
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2009, 09:06:03 PM »


I think this link has your answer http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=43283 but if it is right you probably can't join www.elderberries.com.



Looks like Simon's got a dogwood tree/bush then.

Quote
Make a paste with the berries, dip arrows in it and shoot things. If they die the berries are definitely poisonous.

 ;D  O0
http://community.webshots.com/user/bucket66   http://www.broadstreetcc.btik.com/ He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with

Online Simon

  • Jnr. Jedi
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2261
    • Swindon Climate Action Network
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2009, 09:38:25 PM »
Well well well.

Between TS and Facebook we've got 3 suggestions as to what this bush is, although most seem to be in agreement that it's not elderberry.

The thread supplied by Mart suggests that it could be a type of Cornus, AKA Dogwood. I think of the various dogwoods on offer, Pagoda Dogwood, AKA alternate-leaved Dogwood, AKA Cornus alternifolia seems to fit the bill.



(image by Cody Hough, college student and photographer in the Michgian area)

It has also been suggested that it could be atropa belladonna, AKA deadly nightshade. I'm not sure about this - none of the photos of deadly nightshade on Wikimedia look anything like the specimen in my garden.

The other suggestion is that it could be posion ivy, AKA toxicodendron radicans, but again the photos of poison ivy don't look much like what I've got growing in my garden.

Either way, I don't think you'll be getting any elderberry wine out of this plant Chav  :(

Make a paste with the berries, dip arrows in it and shoot things. If they die the berries are definitely poisonous.


Whilst I can't really argue with the scientific principle behind this suggestion, I don't think I'll be putting it into action  ;D
We are all in this together, but some of us are more in it than others (with apologies to George Orwell)

Online Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9790
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 07:52:07 AM »
 
My dear old Mum used to make fantastic Elderflower champagne so our house regularly reverberated to the wet 'thwumping' of exploding bottles.  Members of the family had to scuttle quickly past various nooks and crannies where bottles lurked in case one, or more, chose that very moment to translate themselves into an expanding cloud of fizz and glass shrapnel.  I learned at a young age that in our house being 'smashed' could mean either of two things, one figurative, the other literal.

Dunno what your berries are Simon, but don't poison yourself out of curiosity..... could you use a passing tramp as a guinea pig?

Offline Tea Boy

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 880
  • Gender: Male
  • Tea's up!, Kettle's on
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 08:07:19 AM »
The fruits certainly look like an elderberry.but then so do the berries of deadly nightshade or woody nightshade.

a very common plant for 'self seeding' by birds. Don't let it in near a fence or a prised hedge, they do have a tendancy to dominate other plants or push over fences (they can get vigourous)

leaves sort oflook elder like, but it is a natural plant and thus prone to variation

A photo of the plant, perhaps a good shoot of the bark and branch structure should reveal the species for sure.....

Gardening tips: Always remember its brown side down, green side up.  If its knocking now it'll only go bang later

Offline Tea Boy

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 880
  • Gender: Male
  • Tea's up!, Kettle's on
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 08:31:15 AM »
Hi Simon

I have been on the mobile to someone who might be able help you. he says to give him call when you you've got 10 mins...

He used to work with us at the councils waterside depot, but he's now up at the civic somewhere, but doesn't mind helping if he can

the name is Richard Beale and he is a "Parks and Green Spaces" (laa dy dah! ark at 'im) Officer for SBC, he says to use the office phone 463304 (8 till 4)

i know its a bit useless  if your at work but give him a bell he's a top bloke for plant idents etc better than bad stomach ache or worse

i used to work with him when he was just a umble gardener. he used to work with an old italian guy, they were always 'livin off the land', harvesting nuts, berries, apples as they went. He will be able to let you know if its edible.



Gardening tips: Always remember its brown side down, green side up.  If its knocking now it'll only go bang later

Offline Chav

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Female
  • INNIT!
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 07:33:12 PM »
Hi Tea Boy

Does this Richard Beale person happen to have any stashes of Elderberry wine ?
Only its on rations in Penhill - as Andy Harrison will tell you lol
 :angel:
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline Tea Boy

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 880
  • Gender: Male
  • Tea's up!, Kettle's on
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 09:38:56 PM »
if your up for Penhill food for free.....

i don't know if big head has any wine, but ask John the groundsman at penhill rec and he'll let you have some of the cider he brews from the windfall apples the guys pick up for him when they cut the hedges along the back of Semley Walk and the willow leaved pear in the park....

beware its so dry it has sand floating on the top and looks like camel p$%*..... but its rocket fuel..... deffo bestt served over ice (before it eats through your glass LOL)

don't let him give you any of the puff ball mushrooms he gets off number 6 football pitch though...

your too late for the mulberries in the park or the medlars in logleat gardens (if the'yre still there)

Blackberries are good this year, very tasty and succulent, looking at the hazel and blackthorn it should be a good year for nuts and sloes.....

Have a look at the trees buy the old triumph factory in groundwell... when the sound barriers were planted between there and the a419 some one planted a load of apple trees on the triumph side.... very tasty

i have heard you can brew a type of fire water from indian bean trees.. don't tell john or he'll give it a go!
Gardening tips: Always remember its brown side down, green side up.  If its knocking now it'll only go bang later

Online Geoff Reid

  • Twitter: @Geoff_Reid
  • Active But Odd
  • Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9790
  • Gender: Male
  • Bald as a chimps arse
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 09:52:42 PM »

Excellent! :)

Offline Chav

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Female
  • INNIT!
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2009, 05:43:07 PM »
if your up for Penhill food for free.....

i don't know if big head has any wine, but ask John the groundsman at penhill rec and he'll let you have some of the cider he brews from the windfall apples the guys pick up for him when they cut the hedges along the back of Semley Walk and the willow leaved pear in the park....

beware its so dry it has sand floating on the top and looks like camel p$%*..... but its rocket fuel..... deffo bestt served over ice (before it eats through your glass LOL)

don't let him give you any of the puff ball mushrooms he gets off number 6 football pitch though...

your too late for the mulberries in the park or the medlars in logleat gardens (if the'yre still there)

Blackberries are good this year, very tasty and succulent, looking at the hazel and blackthorn it should be a good year for nuts and sloes.....

Have a look at the trees buy the old triumph factory in groundwell... when the sound barriers were planted between there and the a419 some one planted a load of apple trees on the triumph side.... very tasty

i have heard you can brew a type of fire water from indian bean trees.. don't tell john or he'll give it a go!

Sounds good to me  O0

Now do you know, where I can find some Burberry ?

Oh the bushes that surround the crematorium at Kingsdown, and near the Groundwell industrial estate used to have loads of cobbnuts/hazel nuts on them. :)
And there used to be a walnut tree at the lawns - I used to be into nuts lol - is it true, the more you beat a walnut tree, the more nuts it produces the following year ?
or is it an old wives tale ?
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.

Offline Steve Wakefield

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2566
  • Gender: Male
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2009, 05:59:38 PM »
Hi Chav

I have a burberry scarf if thats any good?
All posts on this forum are my own opinion and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana:

Offline Chav

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
  • Gender: Female
  • INNIT!
Re: Is this an elderberry or not?
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2009, 07:42:42 PM »
Hi Chav

I have a burberry scarf if thats any good?

Yeah !
tell ya what, do ya a deal - you give me your scarf and I will take you into town and show you the new Chav shop !
"Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects." -- Lester B. Pearson.