Common yet not…

It seemed like a small Cow’s Parsnip shrub but actually it’s the native, treasured, Common Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) shrub. These are the flowers will shortly become the more familiar deep purple berries. Care needs to be heeded when using the plant for food or medicinal uses; parts are toxic while the ripe berries are favored for jams. Iroquois used the inner bark as a pain reliever for toothaches. Read more here. Its name says “common” yet it’s more easily found in native prairie and woodland areas than in cultivated gardens. Copyright 2023 Pamela Breitberg


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