Blue Elderberry – Native Plant Sale Spotlight

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Online ordering has already begun for this year’s sale! Each year King Conservation District sells more than 60,000 native plants. The Bareroot Native Plant Sale is only once a year and offers a great discount price for locally grown native plants. Don’t miss placing your order online before the end of February. The pick up date for any purchased plants is Saturday, March 16th, 2019.

Native plants have long been adapted specifically to our region. Not only do they grow well in our climate they also provide beneficial environmental outcomes that range from soil stabilization and water filtration, to beneficial wildlife and pollinator habitat. Native Americans in our region have traditionally used these plants for hundreds of years as food, fuel, fiber, and medicine. Keep an eye out for our native plant spotlights to learn fun facts and important uses for native plants that you could purchase today.

Blue Elderberry Sambucus caerulea

Blue elderberry has soft pithy twigs and 5-9 lance shaped leaflets. You will find this plant near streams, clearings, and open forests. Red elderberry is more common than blue, but keep in mind red elderberries are toxic and should not be eaten. The stem, bark, and leaves of both plants are toxic. Blue elderberries are known for their high pectin content that can be used to make jams or jellies.  Large amounts of elderberries can be harvested from mature plants during July and August. These tart berries are a great source of vitamin C and have been used for wine, syrups, and pies. Fragrant flower petals can be eaten raw, fried or in tea. When the plant is in bloom from May to July it is often visited by hummingbirds and butterflies.

Check out the many plants available during our 2019 plant sale on our Barefoot Native Plant Sale website.

 

Photo Credit: No machine-readable author provided. Wsiegmund assumed (based on copyright claims)., Sambucus caerulea 7997, CC BY-SA 3.0

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