Meet Elderflowers, that can be harvested from elder trees for a few weeks in June and July.
You might know some of her other names such as elderberry, bore tree, mother elder, lady ellhorn, pipe tree, black elder or Sambucus Nigra
Watch the elderflower video embedded at the bottom of this page - also available to watch on YouTube and Vimeo.
Elderflowers can be harvested from elder trees in the UK
for a few weeks in June and July.
The creamy-white clusters of flowers are usually easy to spot
against the dark-green untidiness of the elder shrubs
and although many people find the fragrance of the fresh flowers
slightly unpleasant, once picked,
their fragrance starts to sweeten and become more agreeable.
Elderflowers make delicious cordials, wines and fritters
but they are also an excellent cold and flu remedy,
they help to reduce fevers, help to clear congested sinuses
and they also help relieve the symptoms of hayfever
such as itchy eyes and runny nose.
Remember also, that elderflowers go on to become elderberries
so make sure to leave some flowers on the tree
for autumn berry harvesting!
Before drying your elderflowers or making a tea,
make sure to shake free any insects that may be living amongst them!
Also, gently detach the flowers from their stalks
as the stalks will make the tea taste very bitter.
To make elderflower tea, take a handful of fresh elderflowers
with stalks removed
or a teaspoon of dried elderflowers
and add a cup of boiling water.
Let sit, covered for 5 to 10 minutes,
strain and drink while warm.
For a refreshing summer drink
You could try chilling an infusion of elderflowers,
adding lemon and ice and a sprig of fresh elderflowers to garnish.