Clusters of tiny cream-colored flowers look like lace from afar. Elderberry bushes/trees grow from five to as much as thirty feet tall. Leaves of the elderberry bush have five-seven leaflets that grow opposite each other on a short branch. Elderberry bushes tend to grow in moist, rich soil along roadsides and woodland edges.
Flowers can be drank as tea, or kipped in batter and fried. Be careful though- roots and leaves are poisonous! Unripe fruits can also cause diarrhea or vomiting.
Elderberry flowers (or elder flowers) are used in many cold & flu remedies along with the berries. It is said that the flower can help break fevers.
The Experts Say...
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Field Guide to Wild Edible Plants: Indians used elderberry branches to make arrows and flutes by pushing the poisonous white pith out of the center with a hot stick. You can also make sap tapping spouts and whistles with the branches.
The Herbal Drugstore: used in herbal tea blends to induce sweating during flu-induced fevers.
Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival tells us that wounds can be washed with a cold tea made from the bark or flowers. You can also use branches to make tool handles or baskets.