Adam Elderberry Tree

Growth Facts

Adam Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis 'Adam'
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Old timer's favorite for making wine and jellies. Heavy producer of large berry clusters. A hardy native plant, easy to grow. Adam Elderberry is a beautiful ornamental tree with captivating deep purple (nearly black) cut-leaf foliage. It will also give you the bonus of flat clusters of pretty pink flowers, which jump out from their shadowy background in summer. The lovely flowers become small purple-black elderberry fruits in late summer that you can turn into jam or wine. Better yet, leave the ripe elderberries for the neighborhood wildlife, and you'll be entertained by the songbirds that will come to relish this special treat.

Growth Facts

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The Story

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!

The Details

Add a touch of curb appeal with edible interest with the Adam Elderberry! A handsome plant, glossy green leaves nestle sizeable white blooms that appear in clusters come May. Each flower transforms into berry clusters that are ideal for pastries, tea, or even wine. Each elderberry is high in vitamin C, helping to keep your immune system happy and healthy.

Height: 5-12 ft
Width: 5-12 ft
Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade
Foliage: Glossy Green
Zone: 3-9
Other: Cold Hardy; Needs another Elderberry to cross pollinate

How to Grow

Adam 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, Adam 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.

Size Guide

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Adam Elderberry Tree