|Botanical Name||Sambucus caerulea|
|Mature Height||6-20 Feet|
|Mature Width||6-13 Feet|
|Light Requirement||Full Sun|
|Hardiness Zone||Zone 3|
The Blue Elderberry is a deciduous multi-stemmed fruit tree native to Western North America. It's graceful pointed leaves and long purple-tinted stems give way to large sprays of white blossoms in late spring, followed by bunches of powdery blue berries late summer to early fall. The green leaflets turns a beautiful orange in fall. Elderberries have been an important food and medicine source for thousands of years. Berries and flowers are a native food source that can be eaten fresh, but are best cooked or made into elderberry wine, jam, syrup, and pies. The flowers add an aromatic flavor and lightness to pancakes or fritters. The fruit and flowers are very nutritious and medicinal and they contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C, and Vitamin A. The flowers contain flavonoids and rutin, which are known to improve immune function. Harvest flower clusters from tree when in full bloom and fragrance. Clip berry clusters whole from tree when fully blue and soft, and strip from cluster for use. Once harvested, use the fruit as soon as possible or keep at a cool temperature. Berries and flowers can be eaten raw, but are much better cooked and added to other dishes such as pancakes, fritters, pies, cobblers, or puddings. Or, add sweetener and cook down into a syrup on the stove to be stored or used in any dish that needs a rich berry flavor. Self pollinating. NOTE: Raw berries contain compounds that should not be consumed in large quantities. Leaves and stems are toxic.