American Black Elderberry
American Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis)
Size of Seedlings Being Sold: 1-0 6-24 inches
Other Names: Common Elderberry, Black Elder
Native to the U.S.
Range: Nova Scotia to Florida, west to southern Manitoba, eastern Dakotas, eastern Oklahoma and Texas
Typical Mature Height: 10-12 feet
Light Requirement: partial shade
Soils: wide variety of soils, but typically mesic slightly acidic soil
Habitat: ditches, old fields, wetlands, wet forest edges
Flower Color: white
Fruit: dark purple to black berry
Bloom Time: spring
Wildlife Value: berries, twigs, and leaves consumed by birds and mammals; provides nesting/habitat materials for native bees; attracts predatory insects that feed on insect pests.
Uses: berries used for making preserves and wine; historically used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes.
Cautions: Unripe fruit may contain traces of cyanide and can be toxic to humans. Edible only when ripe.
Photo by Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.), Bugwood.org
More Information: http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SANIC4