The common elderberry, Sambucus canadensis, is a shrub found throughout most of North America, being adaptable generally from Zone 4 to 9. Elderberries tolerate a variety of soils and some shade, but prefer rich moist areas and full sun. Shrubs have a vigorous, suckering habit, and can typically reach 5-10 feet tall/wide quickly. Fruit matures in late summer, and is popular for making jelly, juice, wine, syrup, and other products.
Elderberries require a pollinator for best fruit production, so we recommend planting two different cultivars (unless you have wild elderberries growing within a few hundred feet or so of your planting, which is possible).
Cultivars we are growing include:
Adams - A variety with proven history, selected in 1926 by William Adams in New York state. Late ripening with large flower heads and berries.
Ranch - Newer cultivar, said to have been found on an abandoned homestead. This cultivar grows relatively short, usually reaching only 6', and is considered very cold hardy.
Scotia - Selected in Nova Scotia, this cold hardy variety is also extremely vigorous, able to grow 8-10' canes from the roots in a single season, after being cut back to the ground. Large sweet fruits, even on first year canes.