The flowers of the black elderberry were most commonly used to create teas to treat colds and fevers. The berries are used in food, jellies, wine, drinks and were used to make a black dye and the branches have been hollowed out to make whistles, straws, pipe stems and blowguns though they are known to be poisonous.
In European folklore, fairies and elves were believed to appear if you sat under an elder bush on a midsummer night. The elder was also known to possess magic to drive away witches and kill serpents. Carrying twigs was believed to be a charm to keep away disease.
AIRdirondack Art Project