ELDERBERRY / ELDERFLOWER : Sambucus nigra
This can look much like a dogwood index.asp?pageid=732904 but that is by comparison more a large shrub. The flowers are similar as are the black berries. Not to be confused with the walnut either.
The Woodland Trust tells us that : Mature elder trees grow to a height of around 15m and can live for 60 years. Elder is characterised by its short trunk (bole), and grey-brown, corky, furrowed bark. It has relatively few branches. Look out for leaves which have 5–7 pairs of leaflets with sparsely serrated edges.
The flowers are : Borne on large, flat umbels, 10–30cm across, the individual flowers are creamy-coloured, highly scented, and have five petals. Flowers generally appear from late May.
The fruits are : After pollination by insects, each flower develops into a small, purple-black, sour berry, which ripens from late-summer to autumn. Elders are hermaphrodite, meaning both the male and female reproductive parts are contained within the same flower.
According to the Woodland Trust, the elder is feared by the devil, yet favoured by foragers. It was said that an elder planted by your house would keep the devil away.
The fruits can be used for syrup and wine and included in such things as muffins. There are plent of recipes online including some from the Woodland Trust itself.
The flowers too can be used and recipes include cordials and jam.
A profusion of white flowers in June. Also note the serated leaves.
Some great elderberries in August. Note the serated leaves too.
WOODLAND TRUST : indentification : https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/elder/ and recipes : https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2022/09/elderberry-recipes/