Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis

elderberry, American elder


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Use this link to get more info about this plant from the USF Institute for Systematic Botany

Plant Specifics

Form: shrub
Life Span: long-lived perennial
Size: Height: 10-15 ft
Flower Color: flower color      white
Fruit Color: fruit color   fruit color   fruit color      blue,purple,black
Phenology: deciduous
Noted for: Showy flowers, showy fruits, interesting foliage


Recommended Uses: Casual settings, wetland edge or screen plant. May be evergreen in southern Florida. Long bloom period.
Considerations: Many would consider this plant weedy. It is weak; stems break easily. Use where these characteristics do not matter. Prune to help it keep reasonable is size and shape. Cut to the ground periodically to make more bushy and form a screen. Clonal: sends up shoots in the vicinity.
Propagation: Seed. Separation and planting of suckers. Cuttings.
Availability: Native nurseries, Seed
Light: light requirement   light requirement  
Moisture Tolerance:
Salt Tolerance: Not salt tolerant
Soil or other substrate: Sand, clay, loam
Soil pH Range: Adaptable


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Fruits popular with birds. Flowers attract many pollinators.
Native Habitats: Disturbed wetland edges, wet roadsides, etc.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida

USDA Zones:

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures

Suitable to grow in:


Fruits used for creation of wine, jam/jelly. Flowers sometimes used in salads or cooked and can be used to make a light wine similar to champagne.

Other Comments:

Used extensively in Indian cultures. Fruits are very high in Vitamin C.