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Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

American black elderberry add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Trees, Shrub-like Trees, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, neutral, rich, average, clay

Height: 5'-12'

Bloom Time: May, June, July

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Additional Tags: attracts birds, attracts butterflies, berries, bog plant, colonizing, edible, hedging plant, naturalizing, pond margin plant, showy fruit, stream margin plant, swamp plant

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (American black elderberry)
  • Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (American black elderberry)
  • Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (American black elderberry)
  • Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (American black elderberry)
  • Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (American black elderberry)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Also known as:

American black elderberry

,

black elderberry

,

common elderberry

,

black elder

,

Mexican elderberry

,

common elder

,

elderberry

,

tapiro

,

sauco

Scientific Synonyms:

Sambucus caerulea var. mexicana, Sambucus canadensis, Sambucus canadensis var. laciniata, Sambucus canadensis var. submollis, Sambucus cerulea var. mexicana, Sambucus mexicana, Sambucus orbiculata, Sambucus simpsonii

Description

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis is an elegant, multistemmed deciduous shrub that typically reaches a mature height of 12 feet. The arching branches are topped by large showy clusters of white, mildly fragrant flowers that are 10" across or more. The bloom period ranges from May to July, and is followed by the development of clusters of purple, edible berry-like fruit called drupes.

Cultivation

American elderberry is adapted of a wide range of growing conditions. It will tolerate somewhat dry conditions, and some shade, but thrives in moist to wet soil in full sun. It has a suckering habit that makes it valuable for erosion control, particularly around stream banks. It is an excellent choice for hedgerows and low growing privacy screens, or can be used to form thickets and naturalize large areas. This is also a popular, and effective species for use in rain gardens. Individual plants are short lived, but can be cut back to the ground every few years, to rejuvenate and encourage new growth. Both cold hardy and heat tolerant. Zones 4-10

Propagation

Sambucus nigra is most easily propagated by softwood cuttings. Propagation from seed requires multiple steps, including the removal of the flesh to avoid fermentation, scarification, and a period of cold moist stratification. Without pretreatment, seeds can take 2 to 5 years to germinate.

Additional Notes

American elderberry is very valuable to a wide variety of wildlife, including pollinators and birds. Although the fruits are unpalatable when raw, they make excellent preserves, pies, and can even be processed into wine.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Dipsacales
Family Caprifoliaceae Honeysuckle family
Genus Sambucus elderberry
Species Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis American black elderberry