BLACKBERRIES (BRAMBLES), HYBRIDS and ELDERBERRIES

BRAMBLES Hybrids: Some are well-established and useful, others could be better described as 'niche berries'.

Hildaberry flowers
Hildaberry: Tayberry x Boysenberry. Very vigorous producing robust and very thorny canes, better trained along trellis or fence like a bramble. Could be used as a food-producing intruder deterrent. Has very large dark red berries that resemble brambles, can be eaten fresh or used for cooking. Taste is more complex than the parent plants, has elements of stone fruits. Large white flowers (2" in diameter), harvest - July to early September. Has proved a heavy cropper producing a well-flavoured fruit whether eaten raw or cooked.
Hildaberries

ELDERBERRIES (Sambucus nigra)
Can be found growing wild as bushes, hedges or small trees and is easy to cultivate. Flowers are heavily scented, tiny and white growing in large, flat, plate-like clusters. They can be used to produce tea, cordial or wine. Small black fruits are produced in autumn that can be used in preserves or made into wine. All parts of the plant are regarded as toxic. Cooking processes will neutralise the toxicity of the flowers and berries. Individual responses to raw elderberries varies. Some people can ingest a few with no apparent ill effects whereas just the smell of crushed berries will cause nausea and sickness in more sensitive individuals. Better to avoid experimentation with raw berries and flowers.
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