Elderberry, Black Elder, European Elder, Bourtree

Sambucus nigra

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sambucus (sam-BYOO-kus) (Info)
Species: nigra (NY-gruh) (Info)
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Edible Fruits and Nuts


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cumberland, Maryland

Sterling Heights, Michigan

Rochester, New York

Salem, Oregon

Waverly, Pennsylvania

San Antonio, Texas

Buckley, Washington

Kalama, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 15, 2002, tofalvip wrote:

I will tell you the recipe of ELDER SYRUP.

It's a delicious elixir of grandma', used for the protection/healing of respiratory tracts. Now, that the winter is coming soon, it would be very useful, but you will be able to make it only next year (in June, when is its blossoming time).

Let's begin!

Gather about 50 umbels (grouped flowers), put them in a pot with water (3 litres or 6 pints) and let to seethe during the night or better for 24 hours. Next day filter out the umbels, add 1.5 kg (cca. 3 pounds) sugar and heat up until boiling. Filter again and pour immediately in clean glass bottles. Wait for cooling down and put the bottles in the refrigerator. When you feel that cold or flu are coming, put 1-2 tablespoons of this arcanum in your pref... read more


On Aug 12, 2001, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a shrub, which can reach a height of 12 feet. The leaves are alternate. Each leaf is pinnately divided with five to seven lanceolate leaflets with finely toothed margins. Crushed leaves may have an unpleasant odor.The flowers have 5 Regular Parts and are up to .25 inches wide .They are cream white with yellow anthers with a delightful sweet aroma and sweet muscatel grape flavour. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into late summer. The small flowers are in a large, showy, nearly flat cluster. These are followed by dark purple, almost black, berries with red juice. Found in moist areas, often near water.