Johns elderberry produces large clusters of fruit. It is a woody, deciduous shrub or small tree, 5 to 12 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide, that is native to North America, Venezuela, and Brazil. It is a member of the Adoxaceae (muskroot) family. It can be found in all areas of North Carolina along streams, marshes, moist forests, and disturbed areas. The genus name may be derived fromsambuco, the Italian word for the elder bush.
Johns elderberry tolerates a wide variety of wet to dry soils but prefers rich, moist, slightly acidic soil in sun to partial shade. Plants will spread by root sucker and will form thickets if the suckers are not removed. In summer, small white flowers are borne in dense clusters.
Flowers are followed by a purple-black drupe that is produced in drooping clusters from late summer to fall. The drupe is an edible fruit and when cooked can be used in pies, pancakes, and jellies. Elderberry flowers and fruits are used in winemaking. Wildlife also enjoys fruits, and the arching branches provide a habitat for nesting birds.
Dark Berries in Late Summer.
*Two varieties are best for fruit production and pollination
5 - 12'
6 - 10'
Primary Foliage Color
Seasonal Foliage Color
Sheds leaves in the Autumn
Full Sun and Partial Shade
Average: Ensure planting area provides adequate drainage