For the last month I’ve been enjoying the explosions of elderberry flowers in our floodplains. Their large, white, rounded flower inflorescences smell great to humans and critters alike; it is rare for me not to see pollinators feasting in the flowers. Each individual flower is tiny, 5-petaled, and creamy white in color. Once pollinated these flowers will develop into dark purple fruits (technically drupes, not berries) which typically ripen in August. Cooked elderberry fruits can be made into tasty jams, syrups, and wine.

Want to learn more about elderberry identification and natural history? You’re in luck; I wrote a full article on the lovely shrub a few years back that can be found here.

If you see something blooming, leafing out, ripening, or otherwise changing in your woods, send photos to the Forests team at to include in next month’s Forests for the Bay newsletter for more phenological fun!