This eastern North American cousin of black elderberry is a medium to large, fast-growing, deciduous shrub. It is grown for its ferny pinnate foliage, large, musky-scented flower heads, and showy clusters of fruits. A wildlife magnet, it attracts butterflies with its flowers and wildlife with its fruit.
In late spring and summer, large flat-topped cymes of creamy flowers appear. They are followed in late summer by blue-black berries. The frond-like leaves are divided into 5 to 11 toothed elliptic leaflets. They emit a somewhat unpleasant odor when crushed. Among its cultivars is 'Aurea', which has atrractive golden leaves.
Not fussy about soils, elderberries like a sunny spot and moderate moisture. American black elderberry fruits are often used in jellies or pies and also can be made into wine. For best fruiting, plant two or more cultivars in the shrub border or as a screen or backdrop. A hard pruning in spring will produce even larger showier foliage.
Genus - Sambucus
Species - Canadensis
Common name - American Elderberry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 9
Height - 10'-12' / 3.0m - 3.7m
Spread - 10'-12' / 3.0m - 3.7m
Plant type - Medium Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, laom, Sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Germination rate - 90%
Bloom season - Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
|Germination||1. Soak in hot tap water for 24 hours|
2. Cold/moist stratify for 60 days. Seeds can be stratified in dampened peat or sand, in a plastic box or bag at 4°C or 5°C in a refrigerator. The seeds should not be frozen or in a wet medium.
3. After the stratification sow seed 1/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed.
Other: if water treatment does not allow seed to imbibe, sulfuric acid treatment is required. can be fall sown without stratification.