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Common Elderberry, American Elderberry, American Black Elderberry - Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis


Family: Adoxaceae - Muskroot Family Genus Common Name: Elderberry Native Status: Native
Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis - Common Elderberry, American Elderberry, American Black Elderberry. This shrub grows up to 10 feet tall and has many stems, forming dense thickets. The leaves are pinnate, with usually 7, occasionally 5, and even more occasionally 9 lanceolate, serrated leaflets. The plant has large cymes of small white flowers which will produce dark purple to black berries which can be used in jams and to make wine. The flowers, dried, can be used to make a tea. The unripe berries, the stems, and the leaves may be poisonous.

This is the more widespread subspecies of the Black Elderberry, being found in all but 5 of the lower 48 states. It is also in Hawaii, but as an introduced species. It was formerly classified as the separate species Sambucus canadensis. Another subspecies, S. nigra ssp.cerulea (formerly S. caerulea) is known as the Blue Elderberry, and has bluish berries. Blue Elderberry is found in much of the western half of the United States

Found in:
AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY

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Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Distribution of Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 28 Jun 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Flintstone, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-May-31Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The inflorescence of Common Elderberry is a large cyme of tiny white blossoms.
Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Site: Flintstone, Walker County, GA Date: 2011-May-31Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
Sambucus nigra is found in moist forests, fields, roadsides, and along railroad tracks.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer