American Black Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis). Edible. When I was a boy, my dad and I foraged for elderberries. They ripen around now, in mid-August. Once home, we stripped the bb-sized berries from their stems, heaped them in a bowl, and passed them over to my grandmother. With sugar, lemon rind, and a few other ingredients, she turned the berries into pie filling. According to her, elderberry pie was a common dessert in Kingsville up until the 1940s. It's impossible to find today. Elderberry bushes still exist in local woodlots, but only birds eat from them. The raw berries aren't appealing; they taste watery and sour and slightly medicinal. It can take hours to gather enough for a pie, and further hours to process them. Is the result worth the labor? In my opinion, it isn't. The flavor is interesting and good, but not as good as sour cherry pie, for example, or blueberry pie. The only person I know who loves elderberry pie is my father. Since my grandmother stopped baking, he's been in a lurch. But finding the berries on a recent hike made me miss the pie, and so maybe Martha can bake it again - if not this summer than next.