Can you identify this plant for me? Came up in my perennial flower bed this...

Asked May 10, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT

Can you identify this plant for me? Came up in my perennial flower bed this spring.

Anoka County Minnesota elderberry

1 Response

The common or American elderberry is a shrub growing from 4 to 12 feet tall. It is found in moist soils along roadsides, ditches, streams, and in fields. It has creamy clusters of tiny star-shaped flowers that become round, purplish-black berries in late summer and early fall. The fruit is used for jelly, pies, and wine. In landscaped situations, black-foliaged varieties of elderberry are sometimes planted. Use the black berries of these plants as you would wild-harvested fruit. Another species sometimes planted as an ornamental is the European elder (Sambucus pubens). This shrub has red fruit that is not edible. I am almost certain this is the type you have as I have seen it take over woodlands.