Elderberry, Blue (Sambucus caerulea), packet of 50 seeds in dried berries


Family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)

Hardy to Zones 4 to 9

(Blue Elderberry, Blue Elder) Deciduous shrub to small tree native to Western US.  Wild form. A pretty tree, tough in the landscape, bedecked in season by lush flowers and then dangling clusters of blue berries, characteristically dusted with white wax.  Elderberry berries are rich in anthocyanins, bioflavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants. Cultivation: We are providing dried berries from the new harvest. To prepare for planting, soak berries overnight, then smash them in a tea strainer and wash them under the faucet, thereby revealing the seeds.  Plant the seeds in moist, shady area–it is best to plant in flats or in gallon pots, as they take a long time to come up, and control is needed.  Seed  best planted in the fall to early spring for germination in the midspring.  Plant in cool, moist, shaded pots.  If the ground has already warmed, put the seeds in moist sand or peat in a sealed container in the fridge, not the freezer, and refrigerate for 120 days, then sow in cool, moist shade.  If you endeavor to separate the seeds by flotation, do not be alarmed when the seeds float–floating elderberry seeds are viable!  Outdoor conditions are preferred–do not try to grow indoors in a bright window–oscillating temperatures are required. Sow seeds in very rich and composty soil medium.  Once germinated, the seedlings grow very rapidly.  Seedlings and adult trees are Nitrogen lovers–give chicken manure or copious amounts of compost for best results. Grow out in a shaded place in pots for a year before transplanting to final location.   Flowers generally appear in year 3. Flowers turn rapidly into heavy clusters of fruits.  Its probably a good idea to grow 3 trees for pollination purposes, although we have certainly seen good crops of fruit from a single tree grown in isolation.  Elderberries are best placed as an understory to a higher tree canopy. Will also grow in full sun if the roots are kept cool and moist.  Space trees at least 15 feet apart.

50  seeds in dried berries/pkt, Open Pollinated, Untreated, NO GMOs


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  1. Question

    Toni Young

    Will this grow in zone 8? (I live in extreme SW Arkansas)

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Tony, Not the best choice, as it is a species that prefers cool mountain weather. You can go for the Sambucus candensis that does better in humid heat. I’m waiting for the new harvest (Oct) to list this again. Stay tuned.

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