Cool Member
Posts: 99
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:15 am
Location: Metairie, Louisiana


My, normally quite useless, neighbors who are renting a house and never trim their shrubs or hedges have allowed an interesting bush to grow and top the 6' barrier fence between our properties. Usually I would just go at it with the hedge clippers but I noticed this year that it is producing lots and lots of berries that, to me, look like elderberries. As it is not my bush and that the kids living there don't know anything other than how to play loud music and drink in the front yard till 3AM I figure I would be wasting my time asking them if they knew what the berries are.

When I grew up in Ohio we always had plenty of elderberries for pies but now that I live in Louisiana I am not sure if there are mimic types of berries the aren't good for eating. So, I'm asking you the great community of the Helpful Gardener to help me identify these berries before I make a nice poisonous pie.


Greener Thumb
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

I think they are Elders Ele,,,,,,
Cut the stem to be sure....a hollow stem is another plus sign.
I used to make a lot of elderflower wine.....delicious.

Green Thumb
Posts: 588
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Pacific NW

By all appearances it looks like an elderberry of some sort. If the plant in question looks more like a shrub then what you remember in Ohio, then it is most likely a European elderberry, which would be more tolerant to variant weather conditions. I have 4 different varieties of them. Another major difference is that the type of elderberries you had is Ohio spread like crazy, if these are staying contained in one spot in the neighbor's yard then they are likely to be european, since they are black. There are also bushy red elderberries which are native to some parts of the country, but they don't have much of a taste and are not good from much.

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Greener Thumb
Posts: 1855
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:40 pm
Location: N. California

we have wild elderberries all over here, looks like you got one there.

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Posts: 29535
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Looks like elderberries to me too. Mine are not doing well this year due to extreme drought... Which has led me to allow two new volunteers to grow in my flower and vegetable garden. :roll:

I'll decide later if I really want to let them stay or cut them down. But for now, one is flowering and the other has formed berries. 8)

In past years, I've made elderflower syrup (my kids love that and we can't always go to IKEA) and elderberry jelly. mmm, mmm! :D

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6676
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Those are Elderberries. They make great wine and jelly. I have a good wine recipe if you need it.

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