Elderberry Shrubs Look Like Viburnum In The Distance

In our neck of the woods, Penn’s Woods that is, the elderberries are blooming this week. It’s time to make a mental note of where to collect some berries to make that wonderful elderberry jelly.

Elderberry shrubs are easily seen from a distance when they’re blooming. The large flowering heads are quite noticeable from afar because they measure 6 or 8 inches across, maybe more.

Flowering elderberry shrubs at the edge of a mountain stream.
Flowering elderberry shrubs at the edge of a mountain stream. Photo taken 22 June 2014.

Look at the edge of fields and near streams or water sources for elderberry shrubs.

Once you find the shrubs that are apparently elderberry bushes take a moment and verify your identification

by looking at the foliage. This is an important step because the blooms of elderberry look like Viburnum flowers.

Elder leaves are compound with 5-7 leaflets. Viburnum leaves are not compound.

Elderberry flower cluster just starting to bloom.
Elderberry flower cluster just starting to bloom. Note the compound leaves behind or under the flowers. Photo taken 22 June 2014.
Elderberry flowers don't bloom all at once.
Elderberry flowers don’t bloom all at once. Note the blossoms that have fallen away. Photo taken 29 June 2014.

Elderberries bloom for about a two week period so you may still have time to locate some berries for your kitchen.

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