Friday, August 3, 2012

Yellow Elderberry

Sambucus australasica
This plant is growing in a delightful rainforest-style garden in Toowoomba . Its situation there resembles its natural habitat, where it is a slender shrub whose bright green leaves are not particularly conspicuous among the general greenery. Only when it produces these pretty translucent berries does it attract attention. Unlike so many plants, it is capable of flowering and fruiting in heavy shade.

The famous Australian botanist, Joseph Maiden, wrote in 1889: “the fruit of (this plant) is fleshy and sweetish, and is used by the aborigines for food”. Having tried it myself, I found that its flavour is best described as “tolerable”.  I would prefer to leave it for the birds!

The plant is said to tolerate light frosts.

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