Elderberry Berries Green on the Bushes Yet

Last year I must have lopped off too many branches on a couple elderberry plants because this year they have only a few bare sticks and very little greenery. I hope they come back stronger next year or I’ll have to go hunting for more bushes if we want some elderberry jam. That shouldn’t be too hard as elderberry, Sambucus canadensis, grows wild all around Pennsylvania at the edges of fields and along roads.

Pinnately compound, toothed leaves on branches that reach 10 or 12 feet tall will help you find them. The plants are easy to spot when in bloom, even from a distance, because of the broad clusters of white blossoms.

Once you find your elderberry plants make note of their location because they’re not as easy to find when in berry. Guess I should have mentioned that a couple weeks ago because the elderberries are growing fast with all the rain we’ve had.

Compound leaf of the elderberry.

Elderberry branches are starting to get weighed down with their fruit, even though the berries are still green.

Green elderberries.

Once they’re big enough the berries will turn a deep purple and then they’ll be ready to harvest.

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