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American Elderberry

Sambucus canadensis


Small stree or shrub 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. Uses for the fruit include medicinal products,[citation needed] wine, jelly and dye. Leaves and inner bark can be used as an insecticide and a dye.[1] Stems can be hollowed out and used for spouts, musical instruments, and toys. Leaves, stems, roots, and unripe fruits of S. canadensis are toxic due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides and alkaloids.


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.


Spotted near Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield at Stilesboro Rd

1 Species ID Suggestions

Sambucus canadensis

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QWMom 8 years ago

Thanks so much, ya'll this one and a similar sighting by someone else local to me has been bugging me! I've been stuck on trying to match it to a sumac. I had already looked at elderberry - don't know why I didn't think it matched? But I found a documented shoot/seedling and it's a perfect match. Thanks!

chesterbperry 8 years ago

Aye, I will second that.

barbarossa 8 years ago

Looks like a young elderberry.

Spotted by

Georgia, USA

Spotted on Feb 27, 2013
Submitted on Feb 27, 2013

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