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Elder is a genus of shrubs, with a few small trees and herbaceous species. They have pinnate leaves and produce large clusters of scented white, green or pink flowers, which are followed by black, red or white berries. Both berries and flowers of some species have medicinal and culinary uses. However, stems, leaves, roots and unripe berries are toxic.
There are nine species native to North America, Mexico, North Africa, Asia and Europe, including Britain. They grow in wood-, waste- and scrubland.
Most are tough plants and will tolerate many garden environments. They will be happy in sun or part-shade and any reasonable soil.