Sambucus nigra is the Latin name for elder and has clear etymological roots. Nigra means “black” and refers to the color of the juice from the elderberry. Although sambucus does not have a single set definition, it can be interpreted as a reference to the sambuca, an ancient stringed instrument that may have been carved from elder wood.

Sambucus nigra
Sambucus nigra


Plant family Adoxaceae
Flowering season May to July
Harvest Flowers: June to July
Vegetation Edge of forests, glades, hedgerows


Why does the herb have yellow or brown leaves?

Towards the end of their growththe green leaves of herbs increasingly turn yellow and brown. This indicates that the plant is preparing for winter and increasingly suspends photosynthesis. This process depends on climatic conditions such as sunshine duration, temperature and soil moisture. Due to Arosa's altitude, the nights get cold very early, causing discoloration to beginalreadyin late summer. But do not worry: in spring the herb sprouts anew and shines again in rich green.


Elderflower syrup

Carefully wash 150 g of elderflowers. Bring 1 L of water containing 1 kg of sugar to the boil, then leave to cool down. Then add the elderflowers and 25 g of citric acid to the sugar water. Leave in a dark, cool place for three days. Prepare the bottles in which to store the syrup. Pour the elderflower syrup through a sieve and then pour into the bottles. To conserve the syrup, add a few drops of alcohol (80% ABV) and then set alight.

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