Deciduous, Edible fruit, Shrubs, Flowers
Grow these large, airy deciduousshrubs for their whitespring flowers and colorful summerberries. In big gardens,they make effective summerscreens or windbreaks. To keepshrubby types dense, prunehard in dormant season, removingolder stems and headingback last year’s growth to a fewinches. Overgrown plants canbe cut to the ground. Types thatgrow into trees need early trainingto single or multiple trunks.
The various elder specieshave bright to dark green leavesand near-black, blue, or red berries.Fruit of red-berried speciesand of S. nigra caerulea cancause gastric upset in humansif consumed raw in large quantities.(Red-fruited forms of black- andblue-berried species arenot poisonous.) Species namesare presently in flux.Sambucus canadensis
Native to central and eastern North America.Grown mostly in cold-winter climates.Spreading, suckeringshrub to 12 ft. tall and wide.Each leaf has seven 2–6-in.-long leaflets. Blooms in earlysummer, bearing flat, creamywhite flower clusters to 10 in.wide; these are followed bytasty purple-black berries. Thefruit is used for pies; both flowersand fruit are used for wine.Strictly fruiting varieties include‘Adams’ and the larger-fruited(and later) ‘York’; plant both forcross-pollination. ‘Aurea’ hasgolden green foliage (golden infull sun) and red berries.
To 50–90 ft. in the wild but is slow growing, smaller (20–30 ft. tall, half as wide) in ga...
Native to the mountains of the western U.S. Can grow to 50–80 ft. tall and 20–25 ft. wide,...
Native to central and eastern North America.Grown mostly in cold-winter climates.Spreading, suckerings...