Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Kaley Hensel
Missoula County Horticulture Extension Agent 

Elderberries: In the wild and in your landscape


Kaley Hensel

Sambucus canadensis 'Bob Gordon' is a high yielding elderberry cultivar which ripens to a deep purple-black color and is rich in anthocyanins. Fruit ripening starts in late August and can extend through October.

This time of year, native elderberries really stand out in Missoula County with their fragrant delicate flowers in full bloom. You might have seen them along roadsides, trails or maybe in your own backyard! Our native blue elderberry, Sambucus cerulea, grows in diverse habitats from mountains, hills, valleys, open woodlands and forests. However, riparian zones are among the favorite spots due to the preferred abundant soil moisture.

These shrubs can grow to a height of about six to sixteen feet making them excellent hedges and windbreaks. The white clusters of flowers, known as cymes, bloo...

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