Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Elder (Sambucus niyra), a common British tree of small size belonging to the order Caprifoliaeeci. It produces stout subangular shoots with copious, pith, which is used in electrical apparatus and in section-ceitting in the biological laboratory. Its leaves are opposite and pinnate, and are used to give a green colour to oil and unguents. The flowers are small, but form corymbose cymes a foot across, with five main branches, each flower having a fiv'e-lobed corolla, five stamens, and three carpels. They contain a volatile oil, from which elder-flower water, used as a lotion or perfume and in confectionery, is distilled. The globular, purplish-black berries are used in British wine, and, it is said, as an adulterant of port. The older wood is white and hard, and is used by shoemakers and turners. Much legendary lore attaches to the tree, Judas being said to have hanged himself on an elder and the cross to have been made from the same species.