This shrub or small tree can be found growing wild just about everywhere in Britain, the fragrant, flat topped, cream flower heads appear in May and June followed by the purple-black berries in September. The flowers are used to make the delicately-perfumed elder flower champagne, whilst the berries are used for wine. It used to be said that if you had an elder tree in the garden you had a medicine chest, or even a larder! The pith of the stems is easily pushed out and whistles were made from the hollow stems, the belief being that the sweetest sounding ones were made from trees that grew away from the sound of cock-crow. Pop guns were also made out of the stems by country children.
These seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and cold-stored for several months. They should be sown into well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered to their own depth with sand or grit. No artificial heat is needed; the seed tray is best left in a cool spot outside and kept moist. Seeds germinate very slowly indeed in the spring after a chilling in the cold compost, regardless of when they are sown. Some seeds may take more than a year to germinate.
Common name:Elder flower, Black elder, Lady Ellhorn, Pipe tree, Whistle tree, Old Lady, Bore tree, Hylder.
Seeds / gram:370 (Approx)