Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Elder cultivated in Surrey

Posted on by royvickery |

In an earlier post on this website it was noted that elders (Sambucus nigra) are difficult to cultivate, ‘they don’t like growing near other trees of the same species, and are woodland or hedgerow plants which are unhappy when planted in a field’.  The upper image here, taken in August 2019, shows a field planted with elder beside the River Mole, south of Leatherhead, Surrey.

It seems as that the bushes were planted in about 2010, and it is not known whether they are planted primarily to provide flowers or fruit.  In August very few fruit were seen, mainly on bushes at the end of rows, so it is probable that flowers were harvested earlier in the year.

Lower image: June 2023.

Update 21 August 2019:  We are told that the bushes are grown for their flowers which are made into cordials.

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