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Sambucus (canadensis)

John M. Englert
USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Bldg. 509, BARC - East, E. Beaver Dam Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
(301) 504-8175
(301) 504-8741 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Caprifoliaceae
Family Common Name: Honeysuckle Family
Scientific Name: Sambucus canadensis
Common Name: Elderberry
Species Code: SAMCAN
Ecotype: Shenandoah National Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway
General Distribution: Nova Scotia, Quebec, Manitoba to South Dakota; Eastern U.S. south to Georgia. Found moist woods, fields, fence-rows, or dry pastures, roadsides. Prolific.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: vegetative
ProductType: Container (plug)
Time To Grow: 0
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container plant, usually 1 gallon. Height: 24-48 inches. Root System: Extensive fibrous root system fills container.
Propagule Collection: Cuttings collected at George Washington Parkway by J. Kujawski on 7/23/96.
Propagule Processing: N/A
Pre-Planting Treatments: N/A
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Greenhouse with alternating day night temperatures, under mist for cuttings. Shadehouse during summer months for one quart containers and above.

Vegetative Propagation Method: Materials are propagated vegetatively because soft wood cuttings root quickly and well.

Container Type and Volume: Cuttings are started in sturdy plastic flats, then transplanted to quart and gallon containers.

Growing Media: Perlite is used for rooting cuttings; transplants are planted into 2:1 Sunshine Mix #1 and shredded pine bark, with 180 day Nutricote 18-8-6.
Hardening Phase: Hardening Phase: Once rooted cuttings have been transplanted into quarts in the summer, containers are moved outside to a shadehouse.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: It takes about 2 years to get gallon-size material.

Harvest Date: Container plants generally are sent for park planting in the spring, 2 years after cuttings were started.

Storage Conditions: Container plants smaller than 1 gallon are stored in a cold house at 40§F for the winter; containers are periodically watered to prevent dehydration. Gallon size and larger containers are stored outside. Containers are laid on their side in a block on weed barrier fabric, and covered with 2 layers of a microfoam insulating blanket. The blanket is secured over plants by threading a rope over the blanket between rebar anchors on either side of the block of plants.
Length of Storage: <b>Storage Duration:</b> December to mid-March.
Other Comments: We have found that our container elderberry plants have very brittle stems and break readily. They sometimes do not fare well when overwintered outside; if cooler space is available, larger plants would be better overwintered upright in cold storage.

Vegetation Propagation Method: Softwood cuttings are taken in July. Cuttings are trimmed to approximately 6 inches with one pair of leaves at the top, dipped in a 1:10 solution of Dip n Grow, and stuck in flats of perlite under mist in the greenhouse. Cuttings root in a few weeks and are then transplanted to quart containers with a mix of Sunshine Mix #1, fine pine bark chips, Nutricote, and endomycorrhizae. Container materials are transplanted into gallon containers the second season and are ready for the field in the third growing season.

Propagators: K. Davis and J. Kujawski
References: Woody Plants of Maryland, Brown and Brown, Port City Press, Inc., 1992.

Manual of Vascular Plants, Gleason and Cronquist, D. Van Nostrand Co., 1963.

Kujawski, J. 1997. 1996 Annual Report to the National Park Service for George Washington Memorial Parkway. USDA NRCS National Plant Materials Center. Beltsville, MD.


Davis, Kathy M.; Kujawski, Jennifer. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Sambucus canadensis plants USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center Beltsville, Maryland. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/03/01). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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