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Elderberry Lenticel

About 30 different bushes and small trees belonging to the genus Sambuca are known as elderberries, or simply elders. Elderberry species grow quickly and inhabit most subtropical and temperate regions.

Elderberry Lenticel

Nearly all elderberry varieties produce large clusters of small white or yellowish flowers in the late spring or early summer, followed by wide bunches of berries. The elderberry fruit varies in color from yellow to red to bluish-black and can be used to make wines, jellies, syrups, pie fillings, and other edible items. The berries are not palatable to humans when they are uncooked, however, since they contain small quantities of poisonous alkaloids.

The predominant species of elderberry cultivated for private and commercial use is the American elderberry (S. canadensis). This shrub is wide spreading and may grow ten or more feet high. New shoots are frequently sent out from the roots of the American elderberry so that the shrubs often form dense thickets if not pruned regularly. A number of varieties of the American elderberry have been cultivated, some of which are valued primarily for their appearance and others of which are prized for their particularly flavorful fruit. The shrubs have also been utilized in the past in various traditional folk remedies.

Additional Confocal Images of Elderberry Lenticel

Elderberry Lenticel at Low Magnification - Woody plants and fruits often develop lenticels, which are loose, spongy aggregates of cells that break through the surface of the item. Lenticels may appear as elevated powdery spots or blisters, and they function in gas exchange.

Contributing Authors

Nathan S. Claxton, Shannon H. Neaves, and Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.