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Zones 3-9
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Zones 3-9

American Black Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis

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American Black Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis

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Special Features
Zone Map
Attractive Bark
Attracts Butterflies
Bird Friendly

Botanical Name

Sambucus canadensis

Outdoor Growing zone

3-9

Mature Height

9-12

Mature Width

6-10

Sun needs

Full Sun, Partial Sun

DOES NOT SHIP TO

AK, CA, HI, PR

The American Black Elderberry is a medium-sized deciduous shrub native to much of North America. It has attractive divided leaves of light green, which turn yellow in fall. It grows to about 10 feet tall and wide, but can be kept smaller with pruning. Clusters of white flowers, up to a foot across, grow in early summer. These are fragrant and attract butterflies and pollinators. By late summer or early fall these become heads of purple-black juicy berries. Both flowers and berries can be made into alcoholic drinks, and the berries make delicious jellies and baked goods. Easily grown, even in wet areas, and ideal for cottage gardens, wild gardens and self-sufficient gardening. It is self-pollinating and doesn’t need a second bush to produce a full crop.

  • Rounded native shrub with attractive foliage
  • Big heads of tiny white flowers in early summer
  • Clusters of purple-black berries in early fall
  • Flowers and berries can be made into beverages
  • Berries make delicious jelly and pies

Plant the American Black Elderberry in full sun for the best blooms and berries, in any soil, from ordinary garden soil to wet conditions and beside water. It will grow in acid soil and slightly alkaline soil. Generally free of pests or diseases and not seriously troubled by deer. Prune in early spring to encourage new shoots, remove old branches and keep a neater profile. All parts except for the flowers and ripe berry flesh are mildly toxic.

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