Advice from our Heligan expert
Older bushes can take on a tree like appearance but you probably won’t be able to see the trunk or branches like you would a tree. The key to identification is that elderflowers grow from the bush not from the ground like other white flowering plants such as cow parsley.
The smell is creamy, floral and summery. However, they are also known to smell like wee. The occasional plant can give off musty smells of urine and for obvious reasons these plants should be avoided for foraging purposes. Leave the flowers to mature into berries for the birds and go in search of another plant to forage the flowers from.