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Mexican Elderberry or Sambucus nigra is a lovely shrub or tree that produces large clusters of white flowers that turn into edible berries in summer. These berries are a favorite of local wildlife, and were a great food source for the Native Americans as well. The leaves twigs and roots of the tree are highly poisonous, but the ripe berries make great juice, jam, compotes and even wine.  If you love to take wildlife photos, and live near open space in California, you should set up a blind and spend the day near an Elderberry. It is a favorite food for the local birds as well as other creatures including raccoons, and deer. If you love to watch birds, you might consider planting one in your own garden.