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Elder (genus Sambucus) also known as elderberry is a genus of between 5 and 30 species of shrubs or small trees in the moschatel family, Adoxaceae.[3]


The rarest wand wood of all, and reputed to be deeply unlucky, elder wands were considerably trickier to master than any other. They contained powerful magic, but scorned to remain with any owner who was not the superior of their company; it took a remarkable wizard to keep an elder wand for any length of time.[2]

The old superstition, "wand of elder, never prosper", had its basis in this fear of the wand, but in fact, the superstition was baseless, and those foolish wandmakers who refused to work with elder did so more because they doubted they would be able to sell their products than from fear of working with this wood.[2]

The truth was that only a highly unusual person would find their perfect match in elder, and on the rare occasion when such a pairing occurred, it might be taken as certain that the witch or wizard in question was marked out for a special destiny.[2]

It was also noted that the owners of elder wands almost always felt a powerful affinity with those chosen by rowan.[2]

The most famous wand made of this wood, and perhaps the most infamous wand ever created, was the Elder Wand, one of the Deathly Hallows that was reputed to be the most powerful wand ever made.[4] The Elder Wand's long and bloody history was a large part of this wood's dark reputation.

Known elder wand owners[]

Other uses[]

Elderberries were edible fruits. In the 19th century, a delirious Apollonia Black consumed poisonous belladonna berries for elderberries and died from them, although her house-elf Scrope did warn her prior.[1]


Notes and references[]