Description: Elderberry is a many-stemmed shrub with opposite, compound leaves. It grows to a height of 6 meters (20 feet). Its flowers are fragrant, white, and borne in large flat-topped clusters up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) across. Its berrylike fruits are dark blue or black when ripe.
Habitat and Distribution: This plant is found in open, usually wet areas at the margins of marshes, rivers, ditches, and lakes. It grows throughout much of eastern North America.
Edible Parts: The flowers and fruits are edible. You can make a drink by soaking the flower heads for 8 hours, discarding the flowers, and drinking the liquid.
All other parts of the plant are poisonous and dangerous if eaten.
All text and images from the U.S. Army Field Manual 3-05.70: Survival.
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