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Do you know the term "lilac berries"? Especially in Low German-speaking countries, for example in northern Germany, you can hear it very often today. But what exactly is meant by that? The fruits of the lilac? Not even close. Lilac berries are in fact elderberries and have nothing in common with the lilac.
Lilac berries = elderberries
Elderberry (Sambucus) carries several names in German and, depending on the region, is called lilac, fledder (more rarely "fleder") or lilac berry. The names "Fledder" or "Lilac" for elder are found mainly in areas where Platt or Low German is spoken.
Elderberries or even lilac berries are small black (Sambucus nigra) or red (Sambucus racemosa) drupes and should not be consumed raw. They contain a weak poison called sambucin, which causes unpleasant digestive problems. The red berries contain a higher concentration than the black ones. By heating, the poison can be easily removed and the elderberries to tasty jam, jelly, syrup, juice or compote process. Lilac berries are even very healthy and contain the vitamins A, B and C as well as potassium and so-called anthocyanins, phytochemicals, which are very valuable as natural antioxidants for the human body.
The fruits of the lilac
The fruits of the lilac know the least. As a rule, the lilac panicles are cut off as soon as they have withered, in order to stimulate the plant to form new buds for the coming season. Seed formation is thus prevented
For many, the fragrant flowers of the lilac (Syringa) are inseparable from springtime. After flowering, capsule fruits that contain the seeds of the plant develop at about the beginning of June. At first glance, they actually resemble berries: they are more or less round-shaped, leathery and between 0.8 and 2 inches tall. The interior is divided into two compartments in which there are two 0.6 to 1.2 centimeters large oblong shaped brown seeds. The fruits of the lilac are not suitable for consumption.