Sambucus ssp. Named after an ancient Greek lute made from its wood, elderberries are the one fruiting group you can count on to provide you with abundant harvests, no matter the conditions. Elderberry plants are so adaptable, they fit into tropical gardens, woodland gardens or cottage gardens. They're perfect for damp spots that kill off less resolute shrubs, all while looking like Queen Anne's Lace on steroids during bloomtime. And when their branches bend with the weight of the berries in late summer, it is the most evocative symbol of ripeness you'll ever find in your garden.
Before using elderberries, make sure to remove the little stems on the berries. They create an undesirable waxy residue. Pick entire berry clusters, then put them on trays and pop them in the freezer for a few hours. When you pull out the trays and shake the clusters, the berries will separate readily and you're on your way to big fun.
Loaded with anthocyanins and polyphenols that remain stable during fruit processing, elderberries make the best wine, jam, syrup and pie imaginable. No other wine can match the velvety claret color of fermented elderberry juice. Throw some handfuls of berries into an apple pie for a culinary epiphany. Breakfast will never be the same with elderberry jam spread on toast.
Self-fruitful, but bigger crops with two cultivars for cross-pollination. This applies to both the American (canadensis) and European (nigra) species. The American elderberry can be eaten straight off the bush, but it's not all that tasty raw. Unripe berries of this species contain alkaloids and glycosides that can cause digestive problems. The European elderberry must be cooked to destroy these compounds. The red elderberry (there are American and European species) is never edible. The blue elderberry native to the Pacific Northwest is edible, but much less ornamental than the varieties offered below.
Hardy to below zero degrees and requires little winter chilling, so many parts of the country can enjoy this genus. Can be cut to the ground every Fall if desired to maintain smaller sized shrubs, but pruning is not necessary to maximize fruit production.
Elderberries are the ultimate wildlife habitat shrub. Blooms host numerous butterflies in the spring. When the berries form, woodpeckers, bluebirds, cedar waxwings, orioles, grosbeaks and dozens of other species fight over the ripe fruit. And deer seem to leave the plants alone, once established.
Shipping charges are 25% for CA, 30% for OR and WA, 40% for rest of U.S. Sorry, no shipping to FL, HI, AK.
|Elderberry 'Nova' 5 gal|
Sambucus canadensis. The 'Nova' elderberry is one of the most ornamental edibles you could grow. The huge creamy white flower clusters add drama to bouquets and the garden, especially when they're covered in butterflies. As the shiny dark purple berries ripen, the branches bend gracefully with the weight. Then it's time to grab your buckets and pick the berries! These bushes are fast growers. Bears fruit in midsummer. To 12' x 8' or more, but easy to prune to a smaller size. Zones 4-9. Grown and shipped in 5 gal containers. Plants are now dormant.
|Elderberry 'York' 5 gal|
Sambucus canadensis. The 'York' elderberry is nearly identical to 'Nova' except that 'York' berries ripen a few weeks later. Like all its brethren, 'York' is carefree and will grow in dry or wet soil, although the berry production is best with adequate summer water. Pinnate leaves gives a tropical air to this easy grower. And it's one of the few fruiting plants that can provide berries in partial shade. Self-fruitful, but like all elderberries will provide more berries if planted near another variety. Elderberry wine has the most beautiful claret color you'll ever see. To 12' x 8'. Zones 4-9. Grown and shipped in 5 gal containers. Plants are now dormant. TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK.
|Sambucus 'Black Beauty'|
Sambucus nigra. The Maria Callas of elderberries, 'Black Beauty' demands your attention and then rewards you with a dramatic display throughout the season. Also known as 'Gerda', this shrub's darkest purple foliage is more effective and long-lasting than that of other cultivars. And those flowers! No other shrub offers ten-inch cymes of pink flowers scented with citrus. The shiny black berries that follow are so prolific they weigh down the branches. 10' x 8,' bigger in mild climates. Full sun for best foliage color and berry production in cool summer areas. Filtered sun in hot summer areas. Moist to dry soil. Plants in 1-gal containers, about 12" tall. Zones 4-9. Can be cut back to keep in bounds. Truly remarkable in a woodland setting with Corydalis flexuosa 'Pere David' nestled at its feet. TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK.
|Sambucus 'Black Lace'|
Sambucus nigra. Even the jaded will drop their jaws when they lay their eyes on this new elderberry, also known as 'Eva.' The purple-black foliage is deeply imbricated and looks for all the world like a cutleaf Japanese maple. Until, that is, the massive pink flower heads appear. If you don't pick the flowers, you'll be rewarded with drooping clusters of reddish black berries for jam and wine. To 8' x 6', but can be cut back every year and grown as a perennial. Will be double that size in mild climates without pruning. Highly adaptable. Grow in full sun in cool summer areas for best foliage color and berry production, filtered sun in hot summer areas. Can take moist or dry soils. Self-fertile, but will bear most fruit if pollinated by another variety. Grown in 1-gal containers, plants about 15" tall. Zones 4-9.
Sambucus nigra. The only golden-berried elderberry, 'Goldbeere' was developed by German growers, a group that doesn't mess around when it comes to plant breeding. Shrub is more upright than other European cultivars and very productive. Since this is a nigra selection, you need to process the berries to make them edible, either by cooking or wine-making. Fabulous with the native Scuppernong grape in jams or jellies. And if you're looking for golden berries for flower arrangements in mid-summer, these branches are unsurpassed in mixed bouquets with Clematis rehderiana and the climbing rose 'Celine Forestier.' Grown in 1 gal containers.