Elderberry - Black
At a Glance
Latin Name: Sambucus canadensis
Other common names: American elder, sweet elderberry, blackberry elder
Mature Height/spread: 5-12 ft high and 5-12′ spread in ideal conditions.
Soil / Climate: Prefers moist, fertile soils. Elderberry is found mostly throughout the eastern and midwestern United States.
Notes: The Elderberry has oblong to oval leaves that turn greenish-yellow in the fall. White, fragrant flowers which can be washed, shaken dry, stripped from stems and beaten into batters for pancakes, waffles and muffins. Berries are small, purple-black color, and have a pleasant taste. The berries ripen in late July through September. An easy way to improve the flavor of mature elderberries is to dry them in the sun or oven. The juice is often used for making wines and jellies. Mix elderberries with apples to make an outstanding jelly. Two-year-old shoots will produce fruit, which persists into early fall. Each berry contains from 3-5 seeds. These seeds are dispersed by birds and mammals ingesting them. The larger stems were once fashioned into arrows. Periodic pruning is recommended.
Plant multiple shrubs for best results for fruiting.
Wildlife: Fruit is eaten by turkey, woodpeckers, and many others. Deer are known to browse the twigs while pheasant and quail use its partial shade as a feeding and loafing area for their broods of young.
-Wetlands tolerant, preferred habitat
-Provides habitat for pheasant.
Purchase Size: 2-3 ft.
USDA NRCS Species