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Black elder, medicinal elder
Elder, syn. Sambucus, elderberry (also bzowa jagoda, chyćka, psi bez, bzica in Polish)
It is a historically common and ubiquitous variety. It can be found in many places near human dwellings (often as a weed). The shrub grows up to several meters tall, often with rhizomes. It blooms in May/June. Flowers have a unique smell. Fruits ripen in August/September. Black elderberry is resistant to low temperatures. It prefers sunny areas, in the shadow it grows slower and produces fewer yields. It prefers fertile, clayey, moist soils.
Black elderberry is a medicinal plant. Most of the organs of this plant can be used in pharmaceutic industry. It is also a valuable plant for gardeners and horticulturists. Fruits of fruit varieties of the black elderberry are larger and there are more of them in clusters. Syrups and preserves made of elderberry fruits and buds improve resistance of the organism as well as other bodily functions.
Unripe fruits of black elderberry contain a harmful glycoside sambunigrin! Interesting fact: in Germanic and Slavic cultures the plant was considered to be a habitat for evil spirits.