Elder (genus Sambucus) also knows as elderberry is a genus of between 5 and 30 species of shrubs or small trees in the moschatel family, Adoxaceae. It was formerly placed in the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae, but was reclassified due to genetic evidence. Two of its species are herbaceous.
The genus is native in temperate-to-subtropical regions of both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. It is more widespread in the Northern Hemisphere; its Southern Hemisphere occurrence is restricted to parts of Australasia and South America.
The rarest wand wood of all, and reputed to be deeply unlucky, elder wands are trickier to master than any other. They contain powerful magic, but scorn to remain with any owner who is not the superior of his or her company; it takes a remarkable wizard to keep an elder wand for any length of time.
The old superstition, ‘wand of elder, never prosper,’ has its basis in this fear of the wand, but in fact, the superstition is baseless, and those foolish wandmakers who refuse to work with elder do so more because they doubt they will be able to sell their products than from fear of working with this wood.
The truth is that only a highly unusual person will find their perfect match in elder, and on the rare occasion when such a pairing occurs, it may be taken as certain that the witch or wizard in question is marked out for a special destiny. Interestingly, Garrick Ollivander found - during his long years of study - that the owners of elder wands almost always feel a powerful affinity with those chosen by rowan.
Known elder wands owners
- Elder Wand, one of the Deathly Hallows, owned by several wizards including Antioch Peverell (believed creator), Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2