Elder (Sambucus nigra)

The Dorset hedgerows show white flowers from April (Blackthorn) through May (Hawthorn) and into June when Elder is in full flower.

Elder is very common throughout the county in hedgerows, woodland edges and scrubby areas. It tends to thrive near Rabbit colonies as the Rabbits hate it and leave it alone preferring to eat all the other plants instead!

These large, flat, cream-coloured flower heads are ideal for insects of all kinds and if you stop to look you will find flies, bees and beetles all making a good living from them. They have little problem in getting pollinated and come September they will be bearing the lovely red berries adored by birds and home wine makers.

Elder is a member of the Honeysuckle family which I find surprising.

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