|Sambucus canadensis subsp. var.||American elder, American elderberry, Sweet elder|
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 and flowers are edible, but other parts of the plant are poisonous, containing toxic calcium oxalate crystals.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Sambucus canadensis, Linn. American or Sweet Elder. Shrub, to 12 ft., stoloniferous: branches pale yellowish gray, slightly lenticellate: lvs. bright green; lfts. usually 7, short-stalked, elliptic to lanceolate, acute or acuminate, sharply serrate, sometimes pubescent on the veins beneath, 2-5 in. long: cymes 5-rayed, to 10 in. across: fr. purplish black, usually 4-celled. June, July; fr. in Sept. Nova Scotia and Man. to Fla. and Texas. —The handsomest and most effective of the elders in bloom, also attractive when weighed down with its large clusters of purplish black berries.
Var. submollis, Rehd. Lvs. grayish green and soft-pubescent beneath. Ill. to Ark. and Texas.
Var. maxima, Hesse. Lvs. larger: cymes to 18 in. across. Very vigorous grower.
Var. acutiloba, Ellwanger & Barry (var. laciniata, Cowell). Lvs. much dissected, the lower lfts. pinnatifid, the upper ones incisely serrate and narrowly lanceolate. A very handsome and distinct form.
Var. aurea, Cowell (var. delicatissima, Schwerin). Lvs. golden yellow: berries cherry-red.
Var. chlorocarpa, Rehd. Fr. greenish: lvs. pale yellowish green. CH
Pests and diseases
Flowers in Herbal Garden
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963