[NAFEX] Blow flower

Heron Breen breen at fedcoseeds.com
Fri Dec 16 12:49:47 EST 2005

>From personal herbal use and historical application, the elder flowers are used in 
tea as fever reducers and in tincture as a gentlier substitute for echinacea root. 
Elder "blow" as I've known it refers to the stage of a flower when a slight air or 
branch movement will cause the petals to fall. It is at this time that the flowers 
are the easiest to gather for food, medicine, etc. Petal-fall is what most of use 
to refer to this as. Elder flowers reach "blow" stage depending on sunlight/shade 
and higher branches release before lower branches. So there is actually a "season" 
for about 3 weeks where elder flowers can be harvested. Harvesting at blow ensures 
a crop of berries that fall as the ovary itself is left intact on the plant.
Heron Breen
zone 4, Maine

On Fri Dec 16  9:17 , Doc Lisenby <longdistshtr at shtc.net> sent:

>In a message dated 12/15/2005 1:47:46 PM US Eastern Standard Time, 
>longdistshtr at shtc.net writes:
>We used to bread and fry the elderberry "blow" (flowers)
>Well that is a new one on me. What is a blow (flower)? As opposed to a 
>normal flower? Local term?
>Sorry Jerry, but we retained some of the Old English down here while the 
>trend at one time was to switch the official  American language to German. 
>Ironically  "blow" was akin to the Old High German verb,"bluoen" meaning "to 
>blossom".  Why elder blow (elder blossom) hung on, is beyond my 
>comprehension. It could be because an elder, especially Sambucus nigra, may 
>be referred to as a bourtree (bower tree).  The blossoms were claimed to 
>have medicinal properties and these attributes may have previously exceeded 
>the berries importance as a dye or food. Over time, elder became elderberry 
>to describe the plant.
>Incidentally, the bark, leaves, shoots and roots are claimed to contain 
>cyanogenic glycosides which are poisonous and shouldn't be ingested.
>So, to answer your question; "blow" means "blossom"/"flower"/"bloom".
>Doc Lisenby Zone 7/8 (So. Car.) 
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