Common Elderberry

Sambucus nigra canadensis

Elderberry, Cundumbo, Cundumba

About This Plant

Partial shade or sun / woodland or shrub edges. Deciduous and herbaceous, with many arching woody stems arising from the base. White flower clusters appear in early summer and periodically throughout the year. Common in riparian areas, elderberry can also perform well in blackland-type soils with sufficient soil depth. The wood was long used for making flutes, as the pith is easily removed. Elderberry fruits are used to treat colds and flus, and the berries yield a medicinal wine.

Origins: North America and Europe


Prune as needed: elderberry can be allowed to form a sprawling, vaselike shrub, or cut back in very early spring to restart.

A big native shrub suitable for the perennial border, if soils are deep enough.

Min. Height: 5'

Max Height: 12 feet'

Min. Width: 5'

Max Width: 10 feet'

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