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shrub

American Elder*

Sambucus canadensis

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American Elder (Sambucus canadensis) at Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Sambucus canadensis flowers

Sambucus canadensis flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

American Elder (Sambucus canadensis) at Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Sambucus canadensis in bloom

Sambucus canadensis in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2b

Description:

A large, vigorous shrub with attractive clusters of small, white flowers in spring followed by purplish-black berries and thick, pithy stems, quite coarse in winter; very adaptable, survives with minimal care but tends to sucker

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 is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care 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

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.

 

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

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

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