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Elderberry brings all the birds to the yard! Common Elderberry causes a commotion in late summer when its big clusters of sweet, purple-black fruits attract every bird in the neighborhood. Over 120 species have been observed snacking on the fruits, including Bluebirds, Cardinals, Indigo Buntings, Grosbeaks, Tanagers, Catbirds, Phoebes, and Robins, to name just a few. Our valuable pollinators are well-served by Elderberry, too, when its large (to 10 inches across) domes of fragrant white flowers open in early summer. Honey bees, carpenter bees, syrphid flies, bee flies, and beetles greedily gather the pollen. A must-have for birders and nature lovers in general!
May Benefit & Attract: Thrushes, waxwings, wood warblers, finches, mockingbirds & thrashers, chickadees & titmice, orioles, cardinals & grosbeaks, crows & jays, sparrows, nuthatches, vireos, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, and wrens.
Take Birds Under Your Wing
New! Introducing our bird-friendly collection of Audubon® Native Plants & Trees
- Better for Birds, 100% Neonic-Free
- Not Available in non-native regions, states or counties (see Native Regions map)
Bower & Branch is proud to grow Audubon® Native Plants for Birds in partnership with the National Audubon Society to help birds and other wildlife thrive.
- The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow
- This bird-friendly native plant provides food and shelter for local and migrating birds and other wildlife
- Your purchase and planting of this native flora directly supports Audubon’s conservation mission and impact
- Learn how you can help birds in your home and community through Audubon’s Plants for Birds program
- Audubon Native Plants & Trees are free of neonicotinoids and exclusively grown by Bower & Branch
Audubon® is a licensed and registered trademark of the National Audubon Society. All rights reserved.
Size AA (18-24" tall) container grown
Size A (3' tall) container grown
- Hardiness Zone: 3-9
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Recommended by Our Growers
Common Elderberry is a fast-growing, medium-sized to large Accent usually found in moist soil. It grows all over the eastern U.S., from Minnesota to Maine and from Texas to Florida. A rich history of myth and legend surrounds Elderberries, dating back to pre-Christian days in Europe. A closely related species growing there was said to have connections to magic, fairies, evil demons, and death. It makes perfect sense, then, that in the Harry Potter series, the most powerful magic wand that ever existed (last owned by Dumbledore) was—what else?—an Elder wand!
Elderflower syrup is a gourmet ingredient that can be made from Common Elderberry blooms. It is used to flavor cakes, cordials, and jellies. The berries are edible as well. They may give you a bit of a stomachache if you eat them raw, but they are tasty when cooked into tarts, jellies, cakes, and muffins.
How to Grow
Common Elderberry is happiest in rich, fertile soil that never dries out. It prefers all-day sun, but will do fine with just a few hours of direct sun. You’ll want to plant in multiples for heaviest fruiting—cross-pollination will allow each plant to bear more fruit. Over time, Common Elderberry will send up suckers around the parent plants; be sure to give them room to spread. Little pruning will be necessary, but if you happen to prune late in the season, don’t destroy the trimmings—native bees may overwinter inside the pithy stems of Elderberry. They emerge in the spring.
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