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Elderberries are shrubs or in some climates the bushes grow into small trees and are native plants to many of the Southern United States. The leaves of elderberries are highly colored in the Northern States in the Fall and contrast distinctly when the purplish-black berries ripen. In Russia and the Ukraine the Elderberry tree is highly regarded as a medicinal plant. The Elderberries can be eaten when completely ripe or when the berries are cooked, and the berries are a favorite food of many wildlife animals like gamebirds.• The strongly aromatic, spicy leaves and stalks were crushed and strapped around the necks of horses to repel flies from the riders of Calvary units during the the Civil War. Southern gardeners very well know that planting Elderberry shrubs near a patio will drive away flies from eating areas by acting as an insect repellant. The Elderberry fruit can be eaten when fully ripe fresh off the plant or cooked into a battered fritter. The flower clusters and Elderberries can be fermented into wine or tasty champagne. The spectacular flower clusters of White Elderberry plants begin blooming in late May and are ideal ornamental flowering shrubs for dark background landscapes, and wildlife animals love eating the elderberries.