Family: Caprifoliaceae

Scientific Name: Sambucus nigracanadensis natural site

Common Name: American Elderberry, Elderberry


American Elderberry (Sambucus nigra canadensis) A medium size native shrub with white flowers and a plethora of fruit. Likes moist, full sun sites. Images of plants in native sites.

Plant TypeShrubs Deciduous
Sunlightfull to partial sun
Moistureprefers moist sites but will tolerate average
Soil & SiteFound growing in open woodlands, moist areas such as ditches, moist meadows. Can be a shrubby invader of eastern prairies around rivers and floodplains.
Flowerssmall, white, have a musk fragrance and occur in rather flat topped cymes
Fruitplentiful, small purple drupes, used to make jams, jellies and wine, consumed by birds, also refered to as berry-like drupes
Leavesopposite, pinnately compound, green during the summer and a weak yellow fall color
Stemslong straight, hollow stems were used as arrows by native American's, warty lenticels
Dimensions10-15 plus feet in height by equal spread, forms a medium to large rounded shrub, arches over when the branches are laden with fruit
Native SiteNative to moist prairies, ditches and along rivers.
Misc FactsSambucus is derived from the Greek word "sambuca" a string instrument was supposedly made from the wood of the elder. The brewed fruit was used as a laxative, headache medicine and salves of honey and elderberry were used on burns and minor skin problems. AKA: Elderberry, Common Elderberry, Elderberry
Notes & Reference#01-Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (Michael Dirr) , #75-Encyclopedia of Nuts, Berries and Seeds (John Heinerman), #63-How to recognize Shrubs (Grimm)
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