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Plant of the Week – Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis – Elderberry

Being cold and flu season, you may have seen a lot of products containing Elderberry on the shelves.  This plant has been used medicinally for centuries in the treatment of cold and flu.  Did you know that this plant grows wild all over Michigan? You see it blooming in the summer, usually in ditches because it likes to have moist soil.  You don’t want to let this plant dry out, so if you have a wet area this plant would do quite well.

There are several new cultivars available as well that feature purple foliage and pink flowers, and there are even some with chartreuse foliage!

Be sure to consult your doctor before using any herbal remedies.  Several parts of this plant are very poisonous and only the ripe berries are only safe to eat after being cooked.  The unripe berries are toxic as well as the rest of the plant.