General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 3 - 12 feet
Plant Spread: 6 -12 feet
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Culinary Herb
Medicinal Herb
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts: Fruit
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Birds
Butterflies
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Flood Resistant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Pollinators: Bees
Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Monoecious
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
Image
Common names
  • American Elderberry
  • American Black Elderberry
  • Common Elderberry
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Sambucus canadensis
  • Synonym: Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis
  • Synonym: Sambucus mexicana
  • Synonym: Sambucus simpsonii

Photo Gallery

Date: 2022-08-21

Date: 2022-08-17
Location: Aberdeen, NC Pages Lake park
Date: May 13, 2022
Elderberry #166; RAB page 996, 174-6-1; AG page 217, 52-2-1, "Lat
Location: Aberdeen, NC Pages Lake park
Date: May 13, 2022
Elderberry #166; RAB page 996, 174-6-1; AG page 217, 52-2-1, "Lat
Location: Aberdeen, NC 
Date: July 19, 2022
Elderberry #166; RAB page 996, 174-6-1; AG page 217, 52-2-1, "Lat
Location: my garden in Dawsonville, GA (zone 7b north Geogia mountains)
Date: 2022-06-16

Date: 2022-08-17
Location: Toolesboro Indian Mounds, Iowa
Date: 2011-07-03
Location: Aberdeen, NC 
Date: June 26, 2022
Elderberry #166; RAB page 996, 174-6-1; AG page 217, 52-2-1, "Lat

photo credit: H. Zell
Location: Newland, NC
Date: 2020-07-18
This bush was growing in saturated soil on the lake's edge.  The

Date: 2022-08-17
Location: Aberdeen, NC 
Date: June 26, 2022
Elderberry #166; RAB page 996, 174-6-1; AG page 217, 52-2-1, "Lat
Location: my garden in Dawsonville, GA (zone 7b north Geogia mountains)
Date: 2022-06-16
Location: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California
Date: 2008-06-13
Location: Jefferson County, Nebraska
Date: 2012-07-05
Location: Jefferson County, Nebraska
Date: 2012-07-05

Date: 2022-08-17
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2010, May
Elderberry growing in the wild
Location: my garden in Dawsonville, GA (zone 7b north Geogia mountains)
Date: 2022-06-16
Location: Beautiful Tennessee, my garden
Date: 2017-12-11
Location: BG Delft
Date: 2017-09-20

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
  • Uploaded by Joy

photo credit: H. Zell
Location: Batavia, Illinois
Date: July in 1980's
close-up of flower clusters and foliage

photo credit: H. Zell
Location: Newland, NC
Date: 2020-07-18
This is the very beginnings of the berries, after the flowers dro
Location: Thorndale, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-08-05
fruit of a small shrub along a creek
Location: Malibu Creek State Park, Calabasas, California
Date: 2007-06-30
Location: Oviedo, Florida, United States
Date: 2019-12-30
Location: Skaneateles Conservation Area
photo credit: R. A. Nonenmacher

Date: 2010-06-14
Photo courtesy of: Miguel Vieira

Date: September
credit: Bob Peterson
Location: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, California
Date: 2012-06-02
Location: Northeastern, Texas
Date: 2010, May
Blooms in May
Location: Toolesboro Indian Mounds, Iowa
Date: 2011-07-03
Location: Toolesboro Indian Mounds, Iowa
Date: 2011-07-03
Location: Sherwood, Oregon
Date: 2017-06-06
Location: Brownstown Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-06-18

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
  • Uploaded by Joy

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
  • Uploaded by Joy

photo credit: H. Zell
Location: Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, Illinois
Date: 2014-08-19
shrub next to pond  in fruit
Location: Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, Illinois
Date: 2014-08-19
fruit cluster

Photo Courtesy of Prairie Nursery. Used with Permission
  • Uploaded by Joy
Location: Batavia, Illinois
Date: July in 1980's
wild shrubs in bloom in swampy spot
Location: Cosley Zoo in Wheaton, Illinois
Date: 2014-08-19
some shrubs in summer
Location: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2013-06-27
planted shrub in yard corner
Location: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Date: 2013-06-27
top of shrub in yard
Location: Blinky Lee Land Preserve near Kimberton, PA
Date: 2015-08-15
mature shrub at barn
Location: French Creek State Park in southeast Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-06-10
wild shrubs in bloom in swampy area
Location: French Creek State Park in southeast Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-06-12
wild shrub in bloom above stream
Location: Ambler Arboretum in Ambler, PA
Date: 2017-06-14
maturing shrub in bloom
This plant is tagged in:
Image

Comments:
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jan 4, 2018 1:26 PM concerning plant:
    The American Black Elder or Elderberrry is a common shrub that inhabits bogs, swamps, marshes, bottomlands, along watercourses, and moist woods from Nova Scotia and southeast Canada, New England down through all of Florida to eastern Texas up through much of Oklahoma & Kansas & Nebraska, areas in the Dakotas into southern Manitoba. Stout, smooth, waxy twigs and stems with compound leaves of 5 to 11 leaflets, usually 7, and only a poor yellow-green fall color. Fragrant flat-topped flower clusters of 6 to 10 inches wide in June-July. Small globular purple-black berries in August-September loved by birds and small mammals and people; often made into jams, jellies, and wine. Fast growing, grows in heavy clay soils and yet tolerates heat and drought. Easy to transplant with shallow, fibrous root system, but it does ground sucker, at least in very moist soils. It is not a dirty, messy plant, but yet not real clean and neat, but it is a good shrub for landscapes. It is sold by large, diverse nurseries and native plant nurseries. I find a few planted in regular homeowner yards, but once again landscape designers and architects use it much more in professional conventional landscapes or in naturalistic landscapes.
  • Posted by mellielong (Lutz, Florida - Zone 9b) on Apr 17, 2015 8:47 PM concerning plant:
    The book, "How to Know the Wildflowers" (1922) by Mrs William Starr Dana gives us quite a bit of historical information about this plant. The author notes that the plant borders the lanes and streams and blooms in early summer. Later in the year, the plant produces dark berries from which "elderberry wine is brewed by the country people". The fine white wood is easily cut and used for pegs and skewers. She also claims a decoction of the leaves can protect delicate plants from caterpillars. Regarding the name, she says the "white pith can be easily removed from the stems, hence the old English name of bore-wood." She further explains that the name elder is probably derived from the Anglo-Saxon "aeld" meaning fire, and refers to the use of the hollow branches in "blowing up a fire".
Plant Events from our members
CraftyFox On July 9, 2021 Cuttings stuck
Stuck cuttings down by along the mouth of the creek this year, hoping they will do better than the ones we stuck the year before.. Further up the creek.
CraftyFox On May 1, 2018 Cuttings stuck
Cuttings were stuck in 3 different locations to evaluate the differences.. If any. All were buried at least another set of nodes from the rooted area, most 2-3 nodes. Those in a raised burm required watering and suffered during droughts.. 2 seasons before I began to consider them established. The others were struck in full sun and part-sun locations, both establishing themselves and suckering by the next spring. I removed most of the fruit both of the first seasons.. They both seem to grow and yield the same currently, though I have more issues with sawfly on the one in full sun. I would definitely recommend watering these the first year as cuttings.. Or placing them in aquatic transition zones and anywhere else you may have high moisture with decent airflow.
WebTucker On May 13, 2022 Bloomed
RootedInDirt On August 17, 2022 Obtained plant
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