Species Of The Week Number 1: Elder

I chose this species for our first SOTW because it was the most observed species in the first three days of the Meanwood Valley Bioblitz with Benhartley1, Lucy610 and Bellaswift3 all uploading photos. Elder is the tree that gives us elderberries. It is also a tree rich in mythology. For instance if you are thinking of burning any elder wood to keep warm this winter then don't!! Burning elder will attract the devil for sure.

If you want to go and look at Elder trees in the valley and maybe pick the fruit then have a look at the observations on the project map to see where you can find them. The berries are ripe now but we are getting towards the end of the season so be quick. Elderberry Pie, elderberry jelly and even elderberry gin recipes are all available online. I am more than happy to provide a critical assessment of anything you cook or brew-up up :-)

While you are there see if you can discover some of the moth caterpillars that feed on elder foliage, including the white-spotted pug, swallowtail, dot moth and buff ermine. It would be great to get some of them on our species list.

There is a lovely little video of a year in the life of an elder tree, and much more information besides, on the excellent Woodland Trust website: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/elder/

Posted by clunym clunym, September 29, 2022 11:37 AM

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