ELDERBERRY Sambucus canadensis

ELDERBERRY Sambucus canadensis

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This Elderberry is a valued native small-tree or large shrub, growing readily in North America and Britain. Berries are dark and plentiful. Spring flowers are also quite attractive, forming white masses.

Type: Large shrub or small tree

Height: 2-5 meters. Plants can be pruned to remain as a small shrub, or left to grow to a very small tree.

Location: Sun or part sun

Hardiness zones: 3-9

Bloom time: Spring, followed by berries in summer.

Seeds per pack: 10

Note: Many seeds and plants contain poisonous parts, this included. All Elderberry leaves, flowers, roots, bark and stems are poisonous. Berries should be cooked, as they can be mildly poisonous if not cooked.

Germination: As with many hardy shrub seeds, these seeds benefit from a period of moist cold to help them grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:

Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.

If you are planting your seeds in late winter or spring, these seeds can be planted outdoors while it is still cool out (once the ground is workable and unfrozen), to receive the cold period naturally in the garden. It is best to use this method only if you are able to keep the soil moist for the entire germination period. Be sure to label the planting area.


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