Sambucus nigra L. ssp. canadensis

Growing Information

Plant Type: Shrub
Sunlight: Sun to part shade
Soils: Wet to dry
Bloom Time: White flowers in May, June, July
Size: 5-8 feet in height; 3-8 foot spread

Plant this native as a hedge or alone. Berries and flowers are edible, but other parts of the plant contain toxic calcium oxalate crystals and are poisonous. Individual plants are short-lived, but root masses produce new shoots. Fast grower. Notice the white flowers on wild elderberry along wetland edges in late spring—it loves the Cape’s acidic soils.

Garden Companions

Shadbush (Amelanchier canadensis), American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)

Nature Benefits

• Fruit attracts birds who then spread seeds.
• Berries relished by mammals.
• Attracts pollinators.

Native Habitat

Occurs in alluvial forests, bogs, ditches, drier old fields.

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