I've read that the wood of an elderberry plant is poisonous, is a green berry just as poisonous?

  • Like the other question, it might help to add where you've read it for some context :)
    – Tim Malone
    Jun 16, 2016 at 8:00
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about the edibility of a plant. Please see the help center for more information.
    – Niall C.
    Jun 16, 2016 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


All parts of Elderberry are toxic, except the flowers and the flesh of the berries - ripe berries need cooking before use to destroy the cyanide like compound in the seeds they contain. I can't imagine why anyone would want to use the green berries for anything, any more than you'd use unripe blackberries -they're unripe and untasty, but the same rules apply - the seeds are toxic, and I'd imagine the green berries themselves may be somewhat toxic; that's hard to establish because no one eats them anyway, so they've not been tested.

Toxicity of the berry seeds is thought to vary between species of Elder - the one most commonly used for its flowers and berries is Sambucus nigra, but Sambucus nigra canadensis (American elderberry), which also has black berries, can be used too.

More information here http://normsfarms.com/are-elderberry-bushes-poisonous/

  • you're thinking about red ones, not black ones. Jun 16, 2016 at 15:50
  • Erm, what makes you say that exactly,Black Thumb? At which point am I 'thinking' of 'red ones' , and red what? Berries on the red berried variety? The red you get between green and black as they ripen? If you mean the red berried variety, which is Sambucus racemosa, I'm not thinking about that at all, and haven't listed it in my answer, but please explain what you have not been able to comprehend.
    – Bamboo
    Jun 16, 2016 at 16:26
  • Ah, appears to be irrelevent anyway, just realised this has been put on hold as off topic, so unless you feel the need, you need not explain your confusion.
    – Bamboo
    Jun 16, 2016 at 16:30
  • you can still answer the question Jun 16, 2016 at 16:36
  • Ah well, maybe you can explain what you meant by your original comment then.
    – Bamboo
    Jun 16, 2016 at 16:37

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