Ebulus chinensis (Lindl.) Nakai
Ebulus formosana (Nakai) Nakai
Sambucus argyi H.Lév.
Sambucus chinensis Lindl.
Sambucus formosana Nakai
Sambucus henriana Samutina
Sambucus hookeri Rehder
Common Name: Chinese Elder
Chinese elder is a deciduous, herbaceous perennial or low shrub growing 1 - 3 metres tall[
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild for local medicinal use, and possibly also as a food.
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the leaves and stems of some, if not all, members of this genus are poisonous[
]. The fruit of many species (although no records have been seen for this species) has been known to cause stomach upsets to some people. Any toxin the fruit might contain is liable to be of very low toxicity and is destroyed when the fruit is cooked[
E. Asia - China, Japan, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines.
Mountain slopes, forests, streamsides, grasslands at elevations of 300 - 2,600 metres in China[
]. Everwet primary and secondary forests, thickets and clearings, mostly in more or less shaded localities,
at elevations from 350 - 2,000 metres[
Tolerates most soils, including chalk[
], but prefers a moist loamy soil[
]. Tolerates some shade but is best in a sunny position[
]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and coastal situations[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. They can be preserved, used in confectionery or made into a beverage[
]. The ripe, black berries are 3 - 4mm in diameter[
]. Although the fruit is small, it is borne in large clusters and is thus easy to harvest[
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Flowers - raw or cooked.
Leaves and young stems - cooked[
]. It is probably unwise to eat the leaves, see the notes above on toxicity.
Root - cooked[
]. Parboiled and eaten[
]. Is it poisonous?
A decoction of the whole plant is anodyne, depurative and diuretic[
The leaves and the root are used in the treatment of pain and numbness, bone diseases and rheumatic problems[
The fruit is depurative and purgative[
]. A decoction of the fruit is used to treat injuries, skin diseases and swellings[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe. Stored seed will probably germinate better if it is given 2 months warm followed by 2 months cold stratification first[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out when large enough.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel[
Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 20cm with a heel[
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