British Columbia: Elderflower Concentrate

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest Native Plants' started by dantanya2000, May 1, 2012.

  1. dantanya2000

    dantanya2000 Member

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    I wish to make elderflower concentrate. I know that in Europe and elsewhere flower clusters from Sambucus nigra are used. I am wondering, however, if I can use the flowers from our native growing Sambucus callicarpa for the same purpose.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The local species is more typically called Sambucus racemosa.

    You're not the only one to be thinking about this right now. A weblog posting on Lunch with Dionysus talks about the very same thing (and posted only yesterday!):

    Sambucus racemosa

    From the posting: "Sources vary and I cannot offer definitive advice"
     
  3. anza

    anza Active Member 10 Years

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    I know for a fact that the Europeans are crazy for Elderberry. In my neighbourhood lone here in Sweden it is common to see an elderberry in the garden. Sometimes they are in the edges of the forests. A drink from the flower is commonly purchased here at the stores as well as the jams or jellys.

    I just recently mentioned the Sambucus mexicana on my blog yesterday as I used it as a marker looking for Native American village sites. The earliest pioneers even used it here. It's sad really that the modern day culture in So-Cal is not so much familiar anymore with this plant's uses. Many areas of San Diego Co it has gone extinct as a result of land development on the flood plains, though it can be found on some moist chaparral slopes.

    I have also had several experiences with the wine made from the berries as the Mexican culture down there still brews it. The wine to me always had a slight prune taste. Never heard of the flower blossom concentrate.

    Thanks for this link. Although where I am I've never seen the berries red, but mostly dark blue or purple. I recall a California variety of red elderberry up around the central California coast, but it was necessarily edible for humans.

    Interesting and thanks again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2012
  4. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    There is a nice comparison of the edibility and medicinal use of Sambucus on Plants for a Future.

    http://www.pfaf.org/user/DatabaseSearhResult.aspx

    There is a lot more info on each taxon if you go to its main descriptive page.

    (I note the website falters a bit from time to time. If not available, try again or try later.)
     
  5. dantanya2000

    dantanya2000 Member

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    Thank you all for the very interesting and useful links. This blog post is well timed - must be the beautiful elderflower blossoms popping out around coastal BC that gets people thinking about this delicious drink.

    Hummm...still undecided about whether to give the concentrate a try using S. racemosa . Mild stomach upset; worst case scenerio.
     
  6. daniLUSH

    daniLUSH New Member

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    If anyone knows of elderflower (any variety) growing in and around Vancouver, please let me know where I can find (or buy) it.

    Thanks!
     
  7. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) is a common shrub that can be found in just about any clearing in the North Shore Mountains.
     
  8. anza

    anza Active Member 10 Years

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    I actually found a red elderberry here just this year in the forest. I'm not sure what variety, but clearly a Red Elderberry. The blue Elderberry trees are everywhere.
     
  9. Alectoria

    Alectoria Member

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    Has anyone tried using Sambucus cerulea for this purpose? Its everywhere here, and I have a couple of huge ones in my garden. Gets covered in big umbels of blue berries. Birds love them also.
     
  10. Klahanie

    Klahanie New Member

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    I grew up in Europe and my mother used to make patties like humburgers from Sambucus flowers and people made spirits. We have several trees around our place here on Vancouver Island and I leave the berries for the birds. Robins love them.
     

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