Dwarf elder ( Sambucus ebulus )
The dwarf elder is a perennial herbaceous plant that reaches heights of 60 to 150 centimeters and forms underground runners. The leaves are pinnate and consist of seven to nine lanceolate, 5 to 15 centimeters long, finely serrated leaflets. The stipules are leaf-like.
The flowering period extends from June to August. Numerous flowers stand together in 5 to 10 centimeters long, flat, umbelliferous inflorescences . The white flowers are radial symmetry with a diameter of about 7 millimeters . The anthers are red and later turn black. Black, berry-like stone fruits are formed as fruits . The dwarf elder has a disgusting smell.
The number of chromosomes is 2n = 36.
All parts of the plant are poisonous, especially the seeds of the black berries. The main active ingredients in the fruits are a poisonous bitter substance with the two esteridoid glycosides ebuloside and isosweroside , as well as caffeic acid , p-coumaric acid and traces of a hydrogen cyanide glycoside . 14 substances were isolated from the methanolic extract of the root , including ebuloside, 7-hydroxyebuloside , 6'-O-β-D-apiofuranosylbuloside , isosweroside, secoeboloside , morroniside and koaburaside .
When eating fruits, spontaneous vomiting, nausea and diarrhea occurred; fatal poisoning is also known.
In Austria, the dwarf elder is common to absent-minded in all federal states.
The dwarf elderberry grows veldt and forest edges, in clearings and wastelands , on fresh forest beats and ruderal herb communities . It occurs only sporadically in the lowlands , as well as in areas poor in lime, otherwise it grows scattered and is usually stock-forming. It prefers nitrogen-rich and basic soils. It is a character species of the Sambucetum ebuli from the Aegopodion Association, but also occurs in societies of the Atropion Association.
The dwarf elder is also used as an ornamental plant and planted to fortify dunes.
In the past, the dwarf elder ( called ebulum in Latin) was regarded as a harmful body fluid laxative remedy that was used in ancient times (as in the Medicina antiqua ) for kidney stones, spleen pain, snakebite and dropsy.
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- Attich illustrations