Sambucus nigra

Scientific name: Sambucus nigra


Common names: “black elder” “common elder” “European elder” “acte” “arn tree” “boon tree” “boor tree” “pipe tree”

Plant Type: Deciduous shrub or small tree


Zone: 4-7

Light: Full sun – part shade

Exposure: Sheltered

Soil: Average

Moisture: Best with regular water but tolerant of less, drought tolerant + handles wet


Plant Size: H 20′ W 6-15′

Leaf and Stem shape: Pinnate leaves turning pale yellow in autumn

Flower: flat sprays of fragrant cream flowers in early summer followed by small black berries

Pruning: Prune to shape + size, can be arborized from an early age, can be coppiced, handles hard pruning

Maintenance: Low

Landscape use: Good in hedgerows , summer screens

Propagate: By cuttings

Pests & Disease: None in Victoria

*Deer resistant

Comments: Edible berries but they require cooking, because the raw berries contain a cyanide-like chemical, Sambucus nigra spp canadensis is best known for its culinary and medicinal uses

Cultivars: ~AGM winners include: S. n. f. porphyrophylla ‘Eve’ , S. n. f. laciniata , S. n. f. porphyrophylla ‘Gerda’


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s