WHAT FLORIDA NATIVE PLANT IS BLOOMING TODAY?™: AMERICAN ELDER; ELDERBERRY (Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis)
“At least 50 species of songbirds, upland game birds, and small mammals relish the fruit of American elder during summer and early fall. White-tailed deer browse the twigs, foliage and fruit during the summer. American elder is outstanding as nesting cover for small birds. During summer, the partial shade under American elder promotes a dense ground cover of grasses and forbs that offers good loafing or feeding areas for broods of young pheasants and quail.
American elder can be used for erosion control on moist sites. It pioneers on some strip-mine spoils and may occasionally be useful for reclamation planting.
…Elderberries are also attractive to makers of pies, jellies and wine”
caution: new growth may be toxic to livestock.
source: USDA Fact Sheet:
“Sambucol might therefore be beneficial to the immune system activation and in the inflammatory process in healthy individuals or in patients with various diseases. Sambucol could also have an immunoprotective or immunostimulatory effect when administered to cancer or AIDS patients, in conjunction with chemotherapeutic or other treatments.” source: Barak V, Halperin T, Kalickman I., The effect of Sambucol, a black elderberry-based, natural product, on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. Eur Cytokine Netw. 2001 Apr-Jun;12(2):290-6.
Native American Ethnobotany for this genus: http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=Sambucus
Where does it grow in Florida? http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2186