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Elderberry, Black

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Sambucas nigra

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Fast-growing Intermountain West native shrub prized for its flowers and berries. 

Elderberries are extremely valuable for wildlife, including humans. Loads of bee species love the nectar-rich flowers, and numerous species of birds love the tart purple fruits. Some humans love them for cordials, cough syrups, and wine. Elderberries grow best in moist soils but can handle drier soils, especially if they are fertile. They can reach 15’ tall and wide, with hollow stems beloved by wood-nesting native bees. 

We acknowledge the impact colonization has had on the ancestral foodways and medicines of this area, and are seeking guidance about how we can best be of use in supporting Indigenous-led efforts to restore these ancestral foodways. The Native American Ethnobotany database has many listings for the ways different Native people interact with Elderberries, which are plants of cultural significance for many tribes. We are in a process of learning what is and is not appropriate for us to share about these plants.  

Seeds were sustainably wildcrafted in the Great Basin by Kyle and friends at Native-Seed Company.


150 seeds

Directions: For best results, plant seeds ¼” deep in fall. Seeds will likely germinate the second spring, but can take up to 5 years. Plants may flower and fruit in 2-3 years.

For more information on planting and establishing Black Elderberry, please refer to the USDA Plant Guide.

"Black Elderberry - Sambucus nigra" by tlhowes2012 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0