Bring the Outdoors Home

Common Elderberry | Plant Profile

Common Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) are deciduous shrubs that are native to the American northeast. They are commonly found along roadways, banks, and woodlands in Pennsylvania. The large flat topped clusters house small lemon scented flowers.

Common Elderberry prefers medium to wet, well drained soils in full sun to part shade. These hardy shrubs can tolerate many types of soils, but best growth occurs in consistently moist ground. They spread easily to create massive colonies. To help to contain the spread there are many pruning options. This includes cutting away dead stems or cutting they entire plant to the ground every few years.

Common Elderberry is most often appreciated in naturalized areas where propagation is not an issue. They perform well along stream banks or other low and damp locations. They can be used to border a fruit garden or leave the fruits to attract birds.


Common Elderberry Characteristics

Common Elderberry are large, sprawling shrubs that are commonly found along roadsides. The flowers produce elderberry fruits in late summer. Elderberry fruits are often harvested to create jam, pie fillings, and elderberry wine. The fruits often attract birds, rabbits, and deer.

Common Elderberry rarely contract life-threatening disease or pest issues. Canker, leaf spot, and powdery mildew are possible. Borers, spider mites, and aphids may be some insect visitors. It is best to provide some shelter for the thin branches as they can be damaged by high winds or heavy snow and ice.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 3 - 9
5.00 - 12.00'
5.00 - 12.00'
Bloom Time
June - July
Medium - Wet
Full Sun - Part Shade
Deer Resistant?