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American Elder

Sambucus canadensis

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American Elder (Sambucus canadensis) at The Growing Place

American Elder flowers

American Elder flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

American Elder (Sambucus canadensis) at The Growing Place

American Elder in bloom

American Elder in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2b

Description:

A vigorous native shrub with attractive clusters of small, white flowers in spring followed by purplish-black berries and thick, pithy stems, quite coarse in winter; good for pies, juice, wine and jellies

Growing Place Choice Plants

Our Growing Place Choice plants are chosen because they are strong performers year after year, staying attractive with less maintenance when planted in the right place.

Click here for additional information.

Ornamental Features

American Elder features showy clusters of lightly-scented creamy white flowers held atop the branches in early summer. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The compound leaves turn yellow in fall. The deep purple fruits are held in clusters in early fall.

Landscape Attributes

American Elder is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

American Elder is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Orchard/Edible Landscaping

Planting & Growing

American Elder will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Screening  Garden  Naturalizing  Orchard 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features

Aurora Location

2000 Montgomery Road,

Aurora, IL 60504

Phone. 630-820-8088

Naperville Location

25w471 Plank Road,

Naperville, IL 60563

Phone. 630-355-4000

Growing for the future with
right plants in right places.