Common Elderberry - Florida Elderberry
Sambucus canadensis - Linnaeus
Adoxaceae (Moschatel) Family

Elderberry is a large shrub with a white stem pith. Flowering occurs in spring and early summer. Fruit matures in late summer. Preferred habitat is thin woods, at roadsides, on stream banks and at the margin of fields and waste sites. The plant is common throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are palmately compound (having three or more leaflets arising from a common point, either the base of a leaf or the tip of a stalk); 5-11 oval or elliptic segments and overall about 10 inches long; fleshy; sharply serrated margin.

Flower clusters are at the end of tender growth stems of the season; flat at first and later with drooping sides and up to 12 inches wide; small and white with obvious stamens. Flowers occur in the spring and early summer.

Fruit is a purple-black drupe; small, stalked and in clusters.

Elderberry is a food source that has been largely overlooked; excellent for making jams and jellies as well as a superior table wine. The white flowers are processed for making white wine and the ripened fruit for making red wine.

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