One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!  Two weeks ago saw you human readers spouting off the mystery wildflower name before midmorning. Since I hardly put a challenge to you, here’s a more nondescript one to chew over this week.

mystery #61

Check back with you later!


Perhaps you took your clues from the leaves of this shrub. That’s right, shrub—this is the Common Elderberry, Sambucus nigra L. ssp. canadensis.

Common Elderberry

Miz Flora tells me this plant was highly prized for its edible berries by Native Americans. They collected the berries and ate little else when they were in season. They were dried for winter, which is a skill I wish we squirrels would learn I get really tired of having only acorns over the winter.

Common Elderberry

Leaves of Common Elderberry

Now I’m not suggesting you humans go out and gather these Elderberries to eat based on our little description here. Please, learn to identify any plant you plant to consume, based on several sources. It doesn’t have drawings or detailed pictures for identification, but one source we like for background information is the US Department of Agriculture plant guides. Here’s the Elderberry page.


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