#90 – May 29, 2019 – Elderberry and Chokeberry!

Dear Friends,
The gardeners at the ISHA property in Wisconsin have also planted some ornamental, perennial shrubs, including one elderberry and two chokeberry bushes. Our elderberry variety is called “Adams Elder” (Sambucus canadenis “Adams”), and is excellent for pies and jam. Our chokeberry variety is called “Glossy Black Chokeberry” (Aronia melanocarpa var. elata), and is renowned for its white spring flowers and brilliant red autumn foliage. The shrubs are situated on the terrace that overlooks Ishwar’s vegetable garden.
The potted, flowering shrubs were small when planted, but can easily grow several feet per year.
Elderberries are grown for their lovely flowers, fruits, and foliage, but they can also be grown to support native butterflies and birds. Elderberries bear large clusters of small white or cream-colored flowers in late spring. The flowers are followed by clusters of small black, blue-black, or red berries. Raw elderberry fruit and flowers are a rich source of vitamin C, and are used as dietary supplements for colds and the flu, commonly prepared as a tea or an extract. 
The Harry Potter fans might recall that the most powerful magic wand in the wizard world was the Elder Wand (also known as the Wand of Destiny). The wand was made of elderberry wood, and it helped Harry Potter to prevail over the dark powers.
Chokeberry (not Chokecherry) is a native shrub with beautiful white summer flowers, that are followed by bold, red leaves and black berries in the fall. They have many human health benefits and birds enjoy feeding on the berries. The sour berries can be eaten raw, but are more frequently processed in wine, jam, syrup, juice, spreads, tea, salsa, extracts, beer, ice cream, and tinctures. The name “chokeberry” comes from the bitterness of the fruit, which creates the sensation of making the mouth pucker. Juice from the ripe berries is astringent, semi-sweet, and sour. The black chokeberry has attracted scientific interest due to its deep purple pigmentation that arises from a high concentration of polyphenols, including some of the highest values ever found in plants.
In the next blog, ISHA announces that the DeraCam is now live streaming!
With warmest regards,
Paul Bauer
Chair of ISHA Building & Fund-Raising Committee