Elderberry Flourishes this Time of Year
Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Elderberries are decorating South Carolina roadways and river banks right now. These large, eight to twelve feet tall, clumps of bright green foliage are topped with large, flat clusters of white flowers. You see them were there is associated water – along ditches or bordering streams and rivers. Interesting, those large clusters of flowers, botanically categorized as corymbs, are not particularly attractive to pollinators. Plants usually make big flowers to attract pollinators but Elderberry flowers don’t have nectaries – the specialized flowers structures that produce the sweet liquid so prized by bees. They do however, have lots of pollen-producing stamens, and elderberries pollen is primarily moved by wind. Pollen is full of protein and has fragrance, so it’s not surprising that elderberry flowers are used to flavor liquors, and in cosmetic preparations.