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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

22 June, 2010

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.