This eastern North American cousin of black elderberry is a medium to large, fast-growing, deciduous shrub. It is grown for its ferny pinnate foliage, large, musky-scented flower heads, and showy clusters of fruits. A wildlife magnet, it attracts butterflies with its flowers and wildlife with its fruit.
In late spring and summer, large flat-topped cymes of creamy flowers appear. They are followed in late summer by blue-black berries. The frond-like leaves are divided into 5 to 11 toothed elliptic leaflets. They emit a somewhat unpleasant odor when crushed. Among its cultivars is 'Aurea', which has atrractive golden leaves.
Not fussy about soils, elderberries like a sunny spot and moderate moisture. American black elderberry fruits are often used in jellies or pies and also can be made into wine. For best fruiting, plant two or more cultivars in the shrub border or as a screen or backdrop. A hard pruning in spring will produce even larger showier foliage.
Genus - Sambucus
Species - Canadensis
Common name - American Elderberry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 9
Height - 10'-12' / 3 - 3.70 m
Spread - 10'-12' / 3 - 3.70 m
Plant type - Medium Shrub
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, laom, Sand, well drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Bloom season - 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.
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