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Wild American Elderberry
Wild American Elderberry
Wild American Elderberry

Wild American Elderberry

Regular price $3.50 Sale

Sambucus canadensis

Origin: Eastern and Central US

Improvement status: Wild

Seeds per packet: ~100

Germination tested: 11/2020: 6% (Hard seed: 0%  Dormant seed: 85%)

Life cycle: Woody Perennial

Zones: 3-9

American elderberry is a vigorous multi-stemmed shrub that can tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions. In the wild, you’ll often see elders in well-drained riparian spots, but it will tolerate regular garden soil too (perhaps a little too well!). Be mindful where you plant an elder, as it will spread via suckers and runners. An immensely useful plant — edible, medicinal, and high-value to birds and other wildlife. Immune boosting tonics, syrups, and ‘shrubs’ are often made from reductions of the berries. It makes great jelly, jam, pie, and lemonade. Berries can be sun-dried for future use, and the fresh or dried flowers are used as a flavoring, though they are much less floral-tasting than the European Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) which is often used commercially in liquors, and tonics. A coppice manure plant for Agroforestry ‘cut and come again’ or ‘chop and drop’ systems. Traditionally in sugar maple country, the hollow stems were used to tap the maples in late winter. 

10'H. Full to Part Sun. Wet to Medium Soil. Spring blooms white. 

These seeds were produced by our friends at Ernst Conservation Seeds in Meadville, PA.

Growing Tips: Fall seed outside. Needs cold stratification.