How to distinguish elderberry poisonous from edible

There are about 25 varieties of elderberry that grow throughout the world. And, only three of them are widely cultivated by gardeners everywhere. The most popular black elderberry plant is an ornamental shrub with many useful properties. Black elderberry berries are used in cooking for making jams, sweet desserts, wine, and also as a medicine in official and traditional medicine. To have such a shrub in your garden is very useful.

Another member of the family honeysuckle – an elderberry grassy, unlike their counterparts – poisonous. The high content of amygdalin, turning into hydrocyanic acid, makes this plant dangerous to humans. Having knowledge of the main differences between the species of elderberry, you are not poisoned by a poisonous plant. You can distinguish elderberry edible from poisonous by its appearance.

elderberry grassy
Elderberry grassy

The main differences between black elderberry and elderberry grassy

Black elderberry Elderberry grassy
Grows up to 5 m, high branchy shrub. Creeping grass with massive stems, grows up to 1.5 m.
The elderberry blossoms in May-June; small, yellow flowers are gathered in shields with five main branches. Elderberry blooms all summer. At the base of the flowers are white, pink at the edges.
Shrub exudes an unpleasant odor, if you cut the stem, or grind the leaf into the pulp. All parts of the elderberry grassy have an unpleasant smell on an ongoing basis.
In winter, the stems remain intact. In winter, the stems die off.
Black elderberry berries are edible. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Despite the poisonousness of the elderberry grassy, the plant is used in traditional medicine as a remedy for diseases of the gallbladder and kidneys.

berries of elderberry grassy
Berries of elderberry grassy

ATTENTION! Self-medication can be dangerous to your health. Before using traditional medicine, we recommend you to consult with your doctor.

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