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Posted by hottomato (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 24, 07 at 16:07

Hi all
I planted a "black lace" elderberry as a native bush in my yard this spring. I got no blooms although growth has been quite good. It's past my knee now and the foliage is showy.
Now I am reading that when and if it blooms, the flowers stink.
When can i expect blooms? Do I need a second plant? Will the flowers smell bad?
How toxic is the plant really if my toddler eats a leaf?
Anyone have a tried and true recipe for elderberry wine?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Elderberry

Sambucus nigra has one subspecies that is a North American native plant and one that is European. As "Black Lace" is a British bred plant, likely it is the European subspecies not the North American one.

Shrubs often need to grow for a year or two before blooming, so be patient.

The leaves, like the leaves of many garden plants contain chemicals that can cause nausea. Never leave a child alone in any garden or allow to explore fields and woods until you are sure that they understand the dangers of tasting any unknown plant and that they will not do it.

RE: Elderberry

I have a 'Black Lace' elderberry and a species one. Both bloomed this year and they did not stink.

I think you get a heavier berry crop if you have two plants, but having two is not required. I had numerous flowers on the Black Lace and not a single berry. The species plant bloomed late this year due to an late freeze, and I only got a few berries. I have had a better crop in years past (and even then I only had the species plant).

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