American elderberry Caprifoliaceae Sambucus nigra spp. canadensis
Leaf: Opposite, pinnately compound, 6 to 11 inches long, with 5 to 11 elliptical, serrate leaflets, acuminate tips, bottom leaflets are often 3-lobed, dark green above and much paler below.
Flower: Monoecious; small, white, borne in dense, flat-topped clusters, up to 8 inches across, appearing in summer.
Fruit: Small, berrylike drupe, purple-black, and very juicy, up to 1/4 inch in diameter, borne in flat-topped clusters, maturing in late summer.
Twig: Stout, silvery- to yellow-gray with obvious, warty lenticles, large white pith; buds are very small, red-brown and pointed, terminal buds are generally lacking.
Bark: Smooth and brown becoming shallowly furrowed and rough with age.
Form: A large shrub or small tree often with multiple stems that are spreading or arching reaching up to 12 feet tall. The trunk is usually short.
Back to Raingardens