Dwarf elder - not an imitation and yet a false fifty
The dwarf elder (Attich) has its right to exist within the diverse elderberry species. After all, it scores with such a robust constitution that it is settled along the coasts as wind protection plants on the dunes. Nonetheless, every year along the edge of the forest, it fools berry pickers, because its poisonous fruits look remarkably similar to real elderberries. You can identify the attich by these features:
- False elderberry grows herbaceous, while real elderberry is woody
- the toxic, purple-black berries are constantly pointing upwards, while edible fruits droop
- Attich berries have a slight dent on the skin of the fruit
- the leaflets on the false elder are narrower and shorter
- Dwarf elder gives off an unpleasant odor
- misleading elder is significantly smaller at 150 centimeters in height
- How fast and how high does an elder grow?
- Where do elderberries occur?
- An overview of the most beautiful elderberry species
The distinction between false and real should not hide the fact that black elder does have a certain poisonous content. This applies in particular to elderberries, which are not allowed to be eaten raw. The poison it contains dissolves when cooking at a temperature of 80 degrees Celsius. With the fruits of the dwarf elder, no processing method leads to edibility.
Tips & Tricks
Since the high toxicity of the false elder even applies to birds and other animals, you should refrain from growing attich in the near-natural garden. A suitable alternative from the elderberry genus are, for example, the yellow elderberry or the deer elder, which are beautiful to look at and at the same time a valuable bird feeder.