Black Elderberry


Mind your Elders!

This songbird favourite will bring them flocking to your yard!

31 species of birds in our region have been documented enjoying these dark juicy berries, from our feeder birds like Northern Cardinals and White-breasted Nuthatches, to migrants like Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings :-)

You can enjoy them, too ;-)
They make great jams, jellies, syrups, and pies…
even the flowers are edible!

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Native shrub

Light— part shade to full sun

Height— 5-12 ft

Spread— 5-12 ft

Bloom Time— July-Aug

Bloom Colour— white
**The shape attracts small native bees

Fragrant— yes

Fruit— black, purple

Leaf— green

Autumn Foliage— yes

Tolerates— heat, drought, soil compaction… a wide variety of wet to dry soils (prefers rich, moist, slightly acid soil)… use as erosion control

Native Habitat— alluvial (moist) forests; bogs; ditches; streams; ponds; drier, old fields… edges of riparian thickets


Water— 1″ of water per week for 1st growing season (until 1st frost)

Soil fertility— late winter-early spring before they break dormancy, 2-3″ layer of compost around trunk (no-till, let nature do the work)…
top-dress with a 3”layer of wood chips/mulch (NOT habitat-destroying cypress mulch)…
Repeat steps yearly.

Pruning— optional… during dormancy, can be trimmed to 3-6’ for heavier berry production/ ease of harvesting… may be cut to ground every other year to keep in check

Pests and diseases— none significant


Wildlife value— berries are relished by many bird species & mammals… deer also browse twigs and leaves

Attracts— birds
30 native birds that eat the fruits

Value to Beneficial Insects— provides nesting materials/structure for native bees

Supports Conservation Biological Control— attracts predatory or parasitoid insects that prey upon pest insects

Nectar Source— butterflies & moths

Wild edible—
see STEP 4: HARVESTING ELDERBERRIES AND ELDERFLOWERS, storing, recipes, nutrition/medicinal— high in antioxidants


Live plant, available for in-person purchase only

Contact us for details


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