...brought to you by the CNPS San Diego Chapter's Native Gardening Committee.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Jeffrey Caldwell writes in an email: 

"The first native plant I ever grew in a container was a Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea...
I got the blue elderberry seed from a tree growing in cattle range on the west side of Cupertino in 1967. At the time I was interested in growing plants for birds. I happened to go up into the hills when the fruit was fully ripe and was being feasted upon by the birds. Many birds in great diversity, including California quail and woodpeckers! No type of berry is known to be eaten by more birds than elderberry. It seems to be their favorite and I think the birds are on to something ... the elderberry seems to be a particularly healthful fruit.

Elderberry is a popular botanical remedy for easing the symptoms of colds and flu. Myself, family and friends have been using it for years -- syrup and lozenges are readily available at such stores as Whole Foods, Sprouts, etc. I understand it has been clinically proven to ease symptoms and shorten the duration of such sickness -- and the experience of people I know confirms its efficacy."

And I'd like to know - do any of you make your own elderberry syrup? From what variety? Any experiences you want to share?

Photo courtesy Las Pilitas Nursery. 

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