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Sambucus canadensis

Sambucus canadensis

Foliage and fruit
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Sambucus
Species: S. canadensis
Binomial name
Sambucus canadensis

Sambucus canadensis (American Elderberry) is a species of elderberry native to a large area of North America east of the Rocky Mountains, and south through eastern Mexico and Central America to Panama. It grows in a variety of conditions including both wet and dry soils, primarily in sunny locations.

It is a deciduous suckering shrub growing to 3 m or more tall.

The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, pinnate with five to nine leaflets, the leaflets around 10 cm long and 5 cm broad.

In summer, it bears large (20-30 cm diameter) corymbs of white flowers above the foliage, the individual flowers 5-6 mm diameter, with five petals.

The fruit is a dark purple to black berry 3-5 mm diameter, produced in drooping clusters in the fall. The berries are edible, but other parts of the plant are poisonous, containing toxic calcium oxalate crystals.

It is closely related to the European Sambucus nigra, and some authors treat it as conspecific, under the name Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis.

Uses for the fruit include: medicinal products, wine, jelly and dye.

Research on elderberries is being conducted at The University of Missouri's South West Center in Mounty Vernon and at the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station in Mountain Grove.


  • Germplasm Resources Information Network: Sambucus canadensis
  • Missouriplants: Sambucus canadensis
  • USDA Plants Profile: Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis
  • Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (=Sambucus canadensis) images at
  • Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sambucus_canadensis". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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