Elderberries are large deciduous shrubs native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa. They are grown for their beautiful foliage, large, musky-scented flowers and showy clusters of fruits. Wildlife magnets, their inflorescences are often visited by butterflies and fruits are favored by birds.
Its pinnate (feathery) leaves are divided into many elliptic leaflets, giving a tropical appearance. The leaves emit a somewhat unpleasant odor when crushed. In late spring and summer, flat-topped umbels of creamy flowers appear followed in autumn by large clusters of glossy black berries.
Not fussy about soils, elderberries like a sunny spot and moderate moisture. For best fruiting, plant two or more cultivars in the shrub border or as a screen or backdrop. (source: learn2grow.com)
Genus - Sambucus
Species - Nigra
Common name - European Elderberry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 5 - 7
Height - 20-30' / 6 - 9 m
Spread - 20-30' / 6 - 9 m
Plant type - Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break
Bloom season - Late Spring, Early Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
You can plant the seeds outdoors in the fall and let them naturally stratify during the winter and they will germinate in the spring.
But if you are going to sow it inside - cold stratification period is required.
1. Soak the seeds for 12 hours in warm water (~+30-+40C).
2. Mix the seeds with moist vermiculite or sterile sand, place in ziplock bag and keep inside in your fridge (+2-+4C) for 60 days.
3. After startification sow the seeds in pots on the surface of the moist soil. Cover lightly (1-2 mm) with vermiculite or soil.