Sambucus nigra (European Black Elderberry) is a deciduous shrub native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa. It is widely recognized for its ornamental value, medicinal properties, and culinary uses.
European Black Elderberry typically grows to a height of 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 meters) and has a spreading, multi-stemmed habit. The shrub features compound leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets that are dark green in color and serrated along the edges. The foliage provides an attractive backdrop for the flowers and berries.
During late spring to early summer, European Black Elderberry produces large, flat clusters of creamy-white flowers. These fragrant flowers are highly attractive to bees and other pollinators. They not only add beauty to the landscape but also contribute to the pollination of other nearby plants.
Following the flowering stage, the shrub produces clusters of small, dark purple to black berries. The berries are highly prized for their culinary uses, particularly in the production of jams, jellies, syrups, and wines. They have a tart flavor when raw but become sweeter when cooked. The berries are also rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.
European Black Elderberry is relatively adaptable and can grow in a variety of soil types, including moist to moderately dry conditions. It thrives in full sun to partial shade exposure. The shrub is known for its vigorous growth and can benefit from regular pruning to maintain its shape and encourage optimal fruit production.
Apart from its practical uses, European Black Elderberry is often planted for its ornamental value. The clusters of fragrant flowers and dark berries add visual interest to gardens and naturalized areas. The shrub also attracts birds, which feed on the berries, and its dense foliage provides nesting sites and shelter.
Botanical Name : Sambucus nigra
Common Name : European Black Elderberry
Height : 10-16 ft
Spread : 3-10 ft
Germination Info : Seed requires 30-60 days warm stratification followed by 120-150 cold
Hardiness zone : 6-8
Average seed per ounce : Approx. 8,000