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American Elderberry Seeds - Sambucus canadensis - EDIBLE FRUIT - Edible Hedge Shrub With Fruits - FRAGRANT EDIBLE FLOWERS - Zones 3 - 9

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0.10 LBS
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Product Description

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American Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis, Seeds
These seeds are from a Northern range collection which are more cold hardy than Southern range collection.

The fruit is a dark purple to black berry 3–5 mm diameter, produced in drooping clusters in the fall. The berries and flowers are edible, but other parts of the plant are poisonous, containing toxic calcium oxalate crystals.

Edible Fruit, Fast Growth, Hardy, Flowering Shrub, Fall Colors, Hedge Plant, Attracts Birds, Wildlife Food, Cold and Drought Tolerant

American elder, or elderberry, is a bushy, multi-stemmed, wide spreading shrub or small tree with deciduous compound leaves. It typically grows 10-15 feet tall with a similar spread. The leaves of the American elder are opposite, pinnately compound (featherlike), and up to a foot long. Large, terminal, flat-topped clusters of fragrant, tiny star shaped white flowers arranged in showy sprays up to 10 inches across appear in spring. The flowers are followed by clusters of shiny dark purple to black, berry-like fruits (drupes) in late summer to fall. Fruit may be used to make preserves, jellies, pies and wine. Fruit is also attractive to wildlife. In the fall, elderberries put on a colorful display of yellows, oranges and reds.



American elders, whether in bloom, in fruit, or even just decked out in their pretty lacy foliage, makes a very ornamental planting. American elder can be coppiced (cut nearly to the ground) to force more bushiness to make a visual screen.


The flowers of American elder are used to make elderflower water which is used in perfumes and confectioneries. Raw elderberries have an unpleasant taste and contain small amounts of poisonous alkaloids. Cooking destroys the alkaloids and improves the taste. (The dried berries are said to be good to eat raw, however.) Cooked elderberries are made into pies, jellies, and of course, elderberry wine. Harvest entire clusters of fruit, strip from the stems, simmer with a little water for 15 minutes, squeeze out the juice in a cheesecloth jelly bag, and prepare jelly or wine as you would with any other fruit juice. The flowers are also edible and used in jams, jellies and are the basis of elderflower fritters. Dip entire clusters of blossoms in flour and fry. A delightful, pale wine resembling champagne is also made from the flowers.


Native Americans made much use of the American elder. They used the bark, flowers and fruits for medicines; they made cakes, puddings and breads from the berries; and they made nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks from the berries. Elderberries have more vitamin C per unit weight than oranges or tomatoes. Young boys of not-too-long-ago knew that the pithy stems of American elder are easily whittled hollow to make blow guns and whistles. The berries are relished by no fewer than 50 kinds of birds.

Common Name: American elder, American elderberry
Zone: 3 to 9
Growth rate: Fast
Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Height: 5 to 12 feet
Spread: 5 to 12 feet
Shape: Multi-stemmed, wide spreading
Bloom Time: June - July
Bloom Color: White
Flower/Fruit: Clusters of fragrant, tiny star shaped white flowers, followed by purplish black, berry-like fruits.
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Fall Color: yellow, orange and red
Drought tolerance: High
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: High; It can be pruned back hard to keep it in bounds.
Site Requirements /Soil Tolerances: Prefers moist soils, but is drought tolerant. Does well in acidic or alkaline soils.

Culture: Spreads by root suckers to form colonies. Prune out dead or weakened stems in early spring.

Uses: Best when massed in naturalized areas where suckering spread is acceptable. Also effective in shrub borders, roadside plantings, wet or low areas, as a screen or as part of a native plant garden.

Sowing Sambucus canadensis Seeds:
The seeds of American Elderberry are very small.
Sambucus canadensisseed need a warm spell then a cold spell in order to mature the embryo and reduce the seed coat.
Scarify: Soak in hot tap water, let stand in water for 24 hours
Stratify: Warm 60 Days, Cold 120 days, 40 Degrees F
Germination: Sow 1/16” deep
For more information about seed pretreatment and growing trees and shrubs from seed, please try the following link:

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Product Reviews

  1. Just received my eldeberry seed 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 3rd Dec 2019

    Fast delivery, instructions for germination look simple enough....will let you know how well the eldeberry seeds and myself get along


  2. 100% germination 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 5th Nov 2019

    I planted my seeds 3 week ago and all of them already sprouted. 100% germination, WOW, I don't think you can get better than this.

  3. Easy to grow with instructions enclosed. fast delivery. 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 8th Sep 2018

    Got some of these towards the 12th of November; they sprouted roughly a week and a half later. They are still tiny. Will update my review as they grow.