Elderberry, European Black (Sambucus nigra) packet of 50 seeds in dried berries, organic

$4.95

We grow our own black elderberry and supply berries from the current crop only.

Family:  Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)

Hardy to Zones 4 to 7

(Black Elder, Elder Berry, European Black Elderberry) Perennial, deciduous, multistemmed bush to small tree native to Europe.  Wild form.  The berries are large and tasty. Traditional usage (TWM): Colds, flu, immune enhancement.  Source of anthocyanins, bioflavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants, also a peculiar antiviral protein. The syrup, tincture or glycerite of these berries is traditionally used (TWM) for treating the common cold and for overall increase in immunity.  Cultivation: We are providing dried berries from the new harvest. To prepare for planting, soak berries overnight, then smash them in a tea strainer and wash them under the faucet, thereby revealing the seeds.  Plant the seeds in moist, shady area–it is best to plant in flats or in gallon pots, as they take a long time to come up, and control is needed.  Seed  best planted in the fall to early spring for germination in the midspring.  Plant in cool, moist, shaded pots.  If the ground has already warmed, put the seeds in moist sand or peat in a sealed container in the fridge, not the freezer, and refrigerate for 90 days, then sow in cool, moist shade.  If you endeavor to separate the seeds by flotation, do not be alarmed when the seeds float–floating elderberry seeds are viable!  Outdoor conditions are preferred–do not try to grow indoors in a bright window–oscillating temperatures are required. Sow seeds in very rich and composty soil medium.  Once germinated, the seedlings grow very rapidly.  Seedlings and adult trees are Nitrogen lovers–give chicken manure or copious amounts of compost for best results. Grow out in a shaded place in pots for a year before transplanting to final location.   Flowers generally appear in year 3. Flowers turn rapidly into heavy clusters of fruits.  Its probably a good idea to grow 3 trees for pollination purposes, although we have certainly seen good crops of fruit from a single tree grown in isolation.  Elderberries are best placed as an understory to a higher tree canopy. Will also grow in full sun if the roots are kept cool and moist.  Space trees at least 15 feet apart.
50  seeds/pkt, in dried berries, certified organically grown

Please note:  This packet will contain enough dried elderberry fruits to provide 50 seeds.  Please note that the packet will NOT contain 50 dried berries, because each berry contains at least 2 seeds. The packet will contain ~20 dried berries.  Richo

 

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  1. Question

    Ck (verified owner)

    I’m thinking of starting these seeds soon. However, I’m not sure if I should start them outdoors or in the fridge. My planting zone is 5b.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Ck,
      Just to give you some perspective, the Elderberry seeds that I planted in August are now germinating in March of the next year–a 7 month induction period. At this time of year I would say refrigerator stratification is your best approach.
      Richo

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    • Deborah Hall

      Do elderberry trees need other elderberry trees for pollination? Thanks.

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    • Diana

      Admin Diana

      In the past, I have successfully germinated thousands of seeds from a self-fertile Sambucus nigra. I have heard that some of the select varieties are not self-fertile.

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    • Monica A

      Hello,
      This question concerns making elderberry syrup. I hope I am posting in the right place. I have bought your book Making Plant Medicine. How long does home prepared syrup last? I am reading in some places just a month or two? I want to make syrup from this year’s crop and was planning to make several bottles since this is the most efficient. Can I keep in the fridge for 6-8 months or should I freeze? Hard to find the answer the question so turning to a trusted source:) Thank you!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Monica,
      Page 79 of 4th edition “Making Plant Medicine.”:
      8) Bottle the syrup in amber tincture bottles or jars. The glycerin preparation may be stored in a cool place out of the light, while the honey preparation is probably best kept refrigerated. The shelf-life is 1 year.
      Beyond that recommendation, I would avoid freezing. it is just unnecessary and degrades the product. richo

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    • Monica A

      Thank you for your prompt and detailed answer answer.

      The other question concerns your elderberry syrup recipe: you say to put dried berries in boiling water overnight and then the next day blend in a mixer (I have used Vitamix)
      Your recipe is somewhat unique in using that blending step. Given that these berries have cyanide, do you think blending them to a mush in a high speed blender could release some of the berries’ cyanide? You must have a reason for blending them I am sure.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Monika, The blending step is necessary to allow for extraction of the juice and pulp. As for the seeds, cooked seeds are not toxic, and this method even removes the seeds. The main problem is when a recipe doesn’t cook the seeds or doesn’t remove them. r

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    • Monica A

      Thank you for always responding so promptly (and offering your many wonderful pants)

      In making your elderberry syrup recipe this morning I wanted to share the following. For step 4 where you talk about removing the seeds, I use a fine mesh colander placed over a tallish container. Pour blended berries into colander, let strain about 45-60 minutes and finish off by placing the seeds in a potato ricer and squeezing over the fine mesh colander. This release the remaining from the seeds. Works very well. Most people probably won’t have a tincture press.

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