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common name for some members of the Caprifoliaceae, a family comprised mostly of vines and shrubs of the Northern Hemisphere, especially abundant in E Asia and E North America.
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Elder(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
In Wicca traditions that utilize the degree system of advancement, an Elder is a Third Degree Witch who is consulted on matters of importance to the coven, such as policy and interpretation of Craft law. In other traditions, it is any Witch who has been in the coven for a number of years and is respected and looked to for such advice. There is often a number of elders in a coven that has been in existence for a number of years.
(Sambucus), a genus of plants of the honeysuckle family. They are shrubs or small trees; more rarely, perennial grasses. There are about 40 species in the temperate and subtropical regions of both hemispheres.
There are 11 species in the USSR, three of which are widely distributed. The black elder (S. nigra) is a tall shrub or small tree with creamy white tiny flowers in flat umbelliferous panicles and violet black fruits (berry-like stones). They are found in the underbrush of the European part of the USSR (including the Crimea) and in the Caucasus. The flowers and fruits of the black elder are good for coloring wines and for giving them a muscat taste. They are raised as decorative plants.
Cystiform, red or common elder (S. racemosa) is a strongly branched shrub or small tree. Its whitish or greenish yellow flowers are arranged in flat oval or conic inflorescences. The fruit is bright red. Wild red elders are found in the underbrush of coniferous and mixed forests in the western Ukraine; red elder that has gone wild is found in the Baltic region and in certain oblasts of the central belt of the European part of the USSR, as well as in Ciscaucasia. These elder are raised as decorative plants. Grass elder (S. ebulus) is a perennial grassy plant, 0.5 to 1.5 cm tall, with an unpleasant smell. In the belt of broad-leaf forests, in the forest-steppe, and in the mountains, the grass is found to the central belt. It is also found everywhere in the Ukraine and in certain oblasts of the central belt of Russia, as well as in the Caucasus. In Central Asia it is found in the mountains of Kopetdag. Infusions of black elder and grass elder are used as sudorifics, diuretics, and astringents. They can also be used as a gargle and poultice.
REFERENCESAtlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV