Published on June 9, 2012 by Casey
American elderberry is a thicket-forming shrub with large flat-topped clusters of small, fragrant white flowers in spring. The flowers are a good source of nectar for small insects. Big clusters of dark purple to black, berry-like fruits follow in late summer to fall. The fruit is an outstanding source of food for birds and other wildlife. The old stems provide over-wintering sites for insects. Birds such as woodpeckers then forage in the clumps for the insects.
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Moist woods, fields, and roadsides; Nova Scotia to Manitoba south to Mexico and Florida.
The pithy stems of elderberry are hollow and can be whittled to make flutes, whistles and blow guns. Stem sections were once used as drains (spiles) in tapping sugar maple trees.
• Filtered Shade
Soil Moisture Preference
• Beneficial insects
• Wet Sun