SOLVED: Elderberry and ??

Gilbertsville, PA

The red twigged branch was taken from a elderberry look alike. It had blueish berries on it in the late summer. It had the elderberry shape, but no bumps on the bark like elderberries do. It was right next to a canadensis (not sure) elderberry. Anyone know what the red twigged branch is from?

Thumbnail by kielbasa1969 Thumbnail by kielbasa1969 Thumbnail by kielbasa1969 Thumbnail by kielbasa1969 Thumbnail by kielbasa1969
Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Hi kielbasa1969:

Hello from Kentucky, from someone who was born and lived as a wee lad not far from you - Perkiomenville PA. We lived on Deep Creek Road.

Notice the leaf morphology on your Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis). It has opposite arrangement of pinnate compound foliage. That means each leaf is made up of a specific array of leaflets. This native Elderberry usually has 7 leaflets per leaf, but that number can range from 5 to 11.

Your mystery shrub shows none of those characteristics EXCEPT that it has opposite arrangement of its leaves. It has simple leaves. You have noted the fruit color. That is definitely a shrubby Dogwood species (Cornus sp.). With blue-ish fruit, it could be Silky Dogwood - Cornus amomum. This would fit, since this species prefers wetter sites such as Elderberry would inhabit.

There are more than a few shrubby dogwood species in eastern North America, and I'm not certain which array occur in Gilbertsville PA. All of them are great wildlife plants, and make handsome ornamental shrubs as well. It's a keeper.

These species are also generally easy to reproduce, too, should you want to. If you beat the birds to the seeds, they are not hard to germinate. If you just want to cut a hefty stem and pound it into moist soil (Live Staking), that will work too. If you are adept at rooting hormones, then take cuttings of young stems at the right time of year and you can make a bunch. Finally, I think you could layer a stem by pinning it to the ground in the spring, and then cutting it free with the rooted stem come fall.

Gilbertsville, PA

Quote from ViburnumValley :
Hi kielbasa1969:

Hello from Kentucky, from someone who was born and lived as a wee lad not far from you - Perkiomenville PA. We lived on Deep Creek Road.

Notice the leaf morphology on your Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis). It has opposite arrangement of pinnate compound foliage. That means each leaf is made up of a specific array of leaflets. This native Elderberry usually has 7 leaflets per leaf, but that number can range from 5 to 11.

Your mystery shrub shows none of those characteristics EXCEPT that it has opposite arrangement of its leaves. It has simple leaves. You have noted the fruit color. That is definitely a shrubby Dogwood species (Cornus sp.). With blue-ish fruit, it could be Silky Dogwood - Cornus amomum. This would fit, since this species prefers wetter sites such as Elderberry would inhabit.

There are more than a few shrubby dogwood species in eastern North America, and I'm not certain which array occur in Gilbertsville PA. All of them are great wildlife plants, and make handsome ornamental shrubs as well. It's a keeper.

These species are also generally easy to reproduce, too, should you want to. If you beat the birds to the seeds, they are not hard to germinate. If you just want to cut a hefty stem and pound it into moist soil (Live Staking), that will work too. If you are adept at rooting hormones, then take cuttings of young stems at the right time of year and you can make a bunch. Finally, I think you could layer a stem by pinning it to the ground in the spring, and then cutting it free with the rooted stem come fall.


Hi Viburnum Valley, .....yes i know where deep creek rd is. I am on Gilbertsville Rd. right near Twin Ponds golf course. You nailed it! it is a Silky Dogwood. I googled it and its definitely that. I thought the elderberrry was regular canadensis but wasnt sure . Thanks for your help! and happy plantings!

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

You are quite welcome. May your garden prosper.

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or sign up to post.
BACK TO TOP