European red elder (Sambucus racemosa).—A.J. Huxley
Any of about 10 species, mainly shrubs and small trees, that make up the genus Sambucus, in the family Adoxaceae. Most are native to forested temperate or subtropical areas. Elders are important as garden shrubs, as forest plants, and for their berries (elderberries), which provide food for wildlife and are used for wines, jellies, pies, and folk medicines. Elders have divided leaves and flat, roundish clusters of tiny, yellowish-white, saucer-shaped flowers. The American, or sweet, elder (S. canadensis) of North America is the most important species horticulturally.