common elderberry

Sambucus canadensis


Sambucus nigra
Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Other Common Names

American elder

Plant Type

Shrub (less than 10 ft)

Life Cycle


Typical Size

5-12 ft. tall
6-12 ft. wide

Tolerant of

Occasional Flooding

Inolerant of

Dry Soil


By cutting, By division

Plant Propagation Notes

Easily rooted from softwood cuttings. Seeds must be scarified and then cold moist stratified for 60 days.

Plant Planting Notes

Provide up to 12 ft spacing.


Susceptible to canker, powdery mildew, leaf spot, spidermites, borers, and aphids.

Sambucus canadensis

USDA Hardiness Zones

4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Light Exposure

Full Sun, Part Sun/Shade

Soil Moisture


Soil Drainage

Well-drained, Poorly Drained

Soil pH

Acidic (less than 6.0), Neutral (6.0-8.0)

Native in South Carolina?


Plant Native Habitat

Streambanks, riparian forests, pond margins, and other wet habitats.

Global Conservation Status (NatureServe)

Secure (G5)

Federal Conservation Status (USFWS)

Not Listed

Distribution Notes

Common throughout South Carolina.