Whilst walking in a woody area on the Worcestershire Warwickshire border I came across some Elder var shrubs. These are the delightful lacy-leaf elders that have an almost tropical presence about them. Their leaves are not quite as pungent as the standard Sambucus nigra and their flowers are slightly more sparse producing a rather frail spray of fruit. Nevertheless, the fruit is still edible and will produce a wonderfully rich flavoured compote.
Elder var – lace-leafed elder (the middle picture shows the sparseness of the fruit that is produced on this variety of Sambucus nigra, the elderberry. This can grow as a tree or often extremely fast growing young shoots emerge from a very old and gnarled bole and produce a shrub).