Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Elderberry
Give a thumbs up Black Elder
Give a thumbs up Common Elderberry
Give a thumbs up European Elder
Give a thumbs up European Elderberry
Give a thumbs up Bourtree

Botanical names:
Sambucus nigra Accepted
Sambucus nigra subsp. nigra Synonym
Sambucus nigra f. laciniata Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Plant Height: 6 - 12 feet
Plant Spread: 3 - 6 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Flowering Tree
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Eating Methods: Raw
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Salt tolerant
Toxicity: Other: Non Toxic - fruit very edible
Pollinators: Flies
Containers: Not suitable for containers


ATP Podcast #15: Edible Wild PlantsATP Podcast #15: Edible Wild Plants
April 24, 2013

In this episode, Dave and Trish talk about their favorite wild edible plants, the kinds of plants you might come across as you walk through the woods. Many of the plants on this list are sure to surprise you!

(Full article11 comments)
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Posted by okus (Lincolnshire, UK) on Sep 22, 2011 8:08 AM

British native plant found growing wild in hedgerows everywhere. Tough, can be a weed, but produces edible berries which not only feed the birds but make excellent wine. The flowers too make a very acceptable Elderflower Cordial.

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Posted by SCButtercup (Simpsonville SC - Zone 7b) on Aug 28, 2014 4:07 AM

An older woman who loved herbs and plants once told me that folklore says this plant "guards" a home, so it was traditionally planted near the door. When I have seen this plant growing around old homes, it has been by the front porch, so maybe there is something to it.
The dark berries that form after the umbels bloom make a lovely jam.

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Plant Events from our members
dorothythomas98 On October 5, 2014 Transplanted
Weedwhacker On June 30, 2015 Plant Ended (Removed, Died, Discarded, etc)
Seeds never sprouted
Weedwhacker On February 2, 2015 Seeds sown
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
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