Elderberry syrup, elderberry wine, elderberry dried fruits, elderflower tea, elderberry kombucha, and so on... wow, what a plant! Not the least of which is elderberry pie, which is phenomenal. There are some important warnings surrounding this plant. First off, be aware that this plant resembles Water Hemlock, one of our most deadly native plants. Secondly, certain parts of the plant are toxic, containing the cyanogenic glycoside sambunigrin and a toxic alkaloid. "The bark contains (harmful) calcium oxalate crystals." "Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coma." Even the tiny stems that attach to the fruit panicles should be removed before ingestion. The edibility of the raw fruits are the point of some debate. Some say that the raw fruits are toxic. I eat them sparingly, and do just fine with them. Do your own research. I agree with Green Deane who says that "he is not going to worry about them" when consuming THE FULLY RIPE RAW FRUITS ONLY. That said, I recommend that you cook them before ingestion when making syrup, pies, etc. I dry the fruits and keep some on hand in mason jars, tossing them into cooked meals now and then to enhance a dish. The flowers, when gently dried, make a lovely tea. I keep them stored in dark mason jars in a dark cool place. Fresh-picked flowers make a delightful champagne-like drink known as Elberblow after about two weeks. Read my complete plant profile and be sure to read the four warnings that I cover. Flies are often the main pollinators of the flowers and many birds consume the ripe fruits as do bears. Deer browse on the "stems and foliage." Lastly, when next you encounter the flower clusters, take the time to smell them, they have a rich and sweet fragrance.
5 WARNINGS: #1: First of all, Elderberry has been mistaken for our native WATER HEMLOCK. BE SURE TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO. Check out our plant profile for Cicuta maculata, the Water Hemlock [CLICK HERE]. #2: Parts of Elderberry are toxic, especially the roots and wood, as well as the leaf stems, flowerstems, fruitstems, and unripe fruits. They contain "cyanogenic glycoside (sambunigrin) and a toxic alkaloid." "Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coma." "The bark contains (harmful) calcium oxalate crystals." Only consume fully ripe fruits and fully opened flowers with the tiny stems removed. Within single clusters there may be dark purple ripe fruits and green or half-green unripe toxic fruits. #3: "Skin irritation may occur from touching elderberry in susceptible individuals." #4: There are multiple species of elderberry other than our single native species in Florida, do you reasearch. #5: People have made both flutes and whistles from the hollow stems. As they are toxic parts it is no surprise that people have been poisoned by blowing into them.
HARVEST TIP: Both my neighbor Terry and well-known forager Green Deane harvest the entire fully ripe fruit clusters, freeze them for a short while, and then remove the fruits from the tiny stems. The freezing makes fruit removal much easier. My friend, Paul Zmoda of Riverview, Florida, ariwtes, "Let me share my method of collecting only the berries: snip off the whole panicles of dark, ripe fruits. Freeze immediately. Later, quickly knock the berries off against the inside of a clean bucket. I get no green matter this way." Anna, of Clifton Hall Farms, uses another technique to remove fruits from stems. She wacks the entire panicle (fruit cluster) back and forth in a five gallon bucket which makes the fruits fall from the small stems. This is her preferred method. - ELDERBERRY PIE: - ELDERBERYY JUICE: - ELDERBERRY KOMBUCHA: Hila Rubinstein of Forageville Hammock in Gainesville makes an Elderberry Kombucha. - ELDERBERRY WINE: It generally takes four pounds of fresh berries to make one gallon of wine.  - ELDERBERRY CHUTNEY: - ELDERBERRY SOUP: - DRIED ELDERBERRIES: - FROZEN ELDERBERRIES: Be sure to properly dry you elderberries before freezing in wide mouth mason jars. Why wide mouth jars you ask? Because they do not break in the freezer.
- ELDERBLOW: The fresh flowers may be made into a champagne-like drink, named Elderflower Cordial, Elderblow, Elderblow Champagne, Elder Fizzle, etc., which is best drunk after two weeks. I love the flavor. - ELDERFLOWER WINE: - ELDER FLOWER FRITTERS: Commonly, the flowers are dipped in batter and fried to make elder fritters. I tend to stay way from fried elder flowers, considering them too out of balance (unhealthy) to be health giving - too many fried batter calories with so few flower calories. - ELDERFLOWER JELLY: Here's a recipe from Finedining Lovers: CLICK HERE.
NOTE: I plan on writting / attaching and article on elderberry's medicinal uses. Supposedly antiviral  Colds  Flu  Anti-oxidant  Immune booster  Urination, to promote.  - ELDERBERRY TINCTURE: - ELDERBERRY SYRUP: FIRE STARTING: Straight debarked branches, approximately half an inch in diameter, are used as fire-starting hand drills. 
Eye and skin lotions. 
Some herbalists make a fresh leaf salve to treat skin problems. I have yet to research how safe this use is as the leaves are toxic. Please send me any studies that detail the use of the leaf salve, thanks. NOTE: GREEN DEANE has an informative 10-minute video detailing elderberries. CLICK HERE to check it out.
JELLY EAR FUNGUS WARNING:
The stems may have Jelly ear Fungi attached to them. Although this is generally and edible fungi, it should be avoided when growing on eldberberry bushes as many fungi contain cells and/or toxic compounds of their host plant.
AS A DYE:
"When combined with vinegar, the berries make a non-toxic, fade-proof, colorfast dye for clothing or yarn." 
"The strong-smelling foliage was used in the past, tied to a horse's mane, to keep flies away while riding." 
ELDERBERRY SYRUP RECIPE:
This video was produced by Mountain Rose Herbs. John Gallagher narrates a clear, five-minute video detailing how to make Elderberry Syrup: ELDERBERRY SYRUP VIDEO Here is their recipe: ½ cup [4 oz. dried] berries
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp of freshly grated ginger
2 cups water
I cup honey [they like wild local honey]
Cover and bring to a boil – then simmer – cover and simmer until liquid is reduced by one half [usually about 20 minutes]
Strain into a bowl – tamp berries down with a spoon in the strainer to squeeze out the juices
Stir in honey
Store in a closed jar – place in a refrigerator - syrups tend not to last too long - this one lasts only a couple of weeks.
You can also make it with fresh or frozen berries [use 1 cup instead of ½ a cup of dried berries] -----
2 ELDERFLOWER JELLY RECIPES:
From Finedining Lovers: CLICK HERE. --- And a 9-minute video by Petra Goes Outdoors making elderflower jelly: CLICK HERE.
PROPER CLASSIFICATION: According to the Univeristy of South Florida's Atlas of Florida Plants, the native species here in Florida is Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis. In the past, it has been placed within Caprifoliaceae, the Honeysuckle Family. "There are several other closely related species, native to Asia and North America, which are similar, and sometimes treated as subspecies of Sambucus nigra. The blue or Mexican elderberry, Sambucus mexicana, is now generally treated as one or two subspecies of Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis and Sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea."  SYNONYMS: There are an impressive 36 synonyms listed on the Atlas of Florida Plants' website. NATIVE TO: All of Florida. Here is Wikipedia's range map for Sambucus canadensis.
DESCRIPTION: Deciduous loose shrub or small tree. Most commonly multi-trunked. Branches often arch at the top. HEIGHT: To 20-30' tall, often closer to 10-15' tall here in Florida. BARK: Grey, furrowed as it ages. Noticeable lenticels. LEAVES: In opposite pairs. Usually 5 to 7 leaflets. Leaves to 7" long each. Pinnate / pinnately-compound, serrated. The leaf veins runs to the leaf ends (while the highly poisonous Water Hemlock has leaf veins that run to the leaf edges / notches).
FLOWERS: Five white petals and five yellowish-cream colored stamens. Hermaphroditic. Fragrant. In flat-topped to slightly curved large panicles. FRUITS: In fruiting clusters, flat-topped or slightly rounded. Individual fruits are round, small (to 1/4" diameter), turning dark purple-black when fully ripe. The clusters often become drooping when fully ripe. SEASON: The flowering and fruiting season is often much longer than the typical May-June for the flowers and June-August for the fruits. WILDLIFE INTERACTIONS: As exploringbirds.com states, elderberry is "one of the best bird attracting plants in all of North America." . Birds consume the ripe fruits. "Bears love to eat the elderberry fruits while deer... browse on the stems and foliage. The elderberries are important sources of summer food for many kinds of songbirds." . Birds Most Commonly Associated with American Elderberry (exploringbirds.com): American Goldfinch American Robin Baltimore Oriole Cedar Waxwing Eastern Bluebrid eastern Phoebe eastern Towhee Gray Catbird Hermit Thrush House Finch Indigo Bunting Insectivorous Birds Kinglets Northern Cardinal Northern Flicker Northern Mockingbird Red-Bellied Woodpecker Red-Eyed Vireo Rose-Breasted grosbeak scarlet Tanager Veery Warblers
POLLINATORS: The flowers are mostly pollenated by flies. (7). PROPAGATION: wildflower.org writes, "Propagation is quickest from cuttings. Roots easily from softwood cuttings taken from one-year-old (juvenile) seedlings. For elderberry seeds to germinate they must be pretreated. Untreated, fall-sown seeds will not germinate until the second year. "