White elder - portrait of a rare plant

White elder - portrait of a rare plant

Elderberries that don't color? Yes there is.

So refreshing and aromatic the dark fruits of a black elder taste; Hobby gardeners and housewives can do without the intense stains. Good to know that there is a type of elder whose juice does not stain. When it comes to the white elder, nobody has to be completely covered in plastic to protect them from extremely stubborn dirt. The following profile reveals the most important attributes:

  • yellow-white bloom in June and July
  • yellowish-white, translucent berries
  • light green leaflets
  • Height of growth 4 to 6 meters
  • Spread 3 to 4 meters
  • annual growth of 20 to 40 centimeters

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The almost white elderberries are a touch fruity in taste than the purple-black fruits of their big brother. There is no difference in terms of the poison content in raw form. As long as the fruits have not cooked for several minutes at at least 80 degrees Celsius, they are not digestible.

Tips on planting and care

In order for a Sambucus nigra Alba to develop its inflorescences of up to 20 centimeters in June, it needs a sunny to partially shaded location. Ideally the soil is not too dry, humus and nutritious. Since a white elder does not quite reach the imposing dimensions of a black elder, it makes an excellent solitaire in the front garden.

Planted in spring or autumn, the decorative wild fruit trees should not dry out if possible. The shrub usually reacts indignantly to drought stress by shedding its leaves without much fuss. If the delicious elderberries serve to enrich the menu, white elderberry should be fertilized organically. Compost, granular cattle manure, (17.80 € on Amazon *) guano (10.44 € on Amazon *) and horn shavings (6.39 € on Amazon *) are recommended in this regard. An annual pruning after the harvest preserves the vitality.

Tips & Tricks

A singing elder in the white elder? The cheerful people from the Rhineland in Cologne are easily capable of this creative masterpiece. In a quaint pub called 'White Elder', there is a sing-along concert for young and old every Sunday under the title 'Singing Elder'.