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River Alder vs Black Elderberry

Alnus incana

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

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River Alder
Black Elderberry

River Alder is a large shrub or small tree with a multi-stemmed, spreading habit. It is an excellent tree to plant if you want to stabilize the soil near rivers and creeks.

Unlike the other alder varieties, River Alder is attractive enough to be included in riverside plantings by municipal and provincial park organizations.

Black Elderberry is a deciduous shrub native to eastern North America. You can plant this shrub in moist areas and it will help stabilize your soil. You can also use it on rural properties anywhere you'd use a lilac.

Warning: the seeds, stems, leaves, roots, and uncooked berries of the Black Elderberry are poisonous to humans when eaten in quantity. You should cook the berries to make them safe for human consumption.

RIVER ALDER QUICK FACTS

BLACK ELDERBERRY QUICK FACTS

Zone: 1a
Zone: 3a
Height: 8 m (25 ft)
Height: 3 m (10 ft)
Spread: 4 m (12 ft)
Spread: 2.4 m (8 ft)
Moisture: normal, wet
Moisture: normal, wet
Light: full sun
Light: any
Fuzz/fluff: yes
Catkins: yes
Fall colour: yellow to orange
Berries: black
Flowers: fragrant, white and showy
Bark: gray brownish with rigid bumps
Growth rate: fast
Growth rate: medium
Life span: short
Life span: short
Maintenance: low
Suckering: none
Suckering: medium
Pollution tolerance: medium
Pollution tolerance: high




Toxicity: leaves, stems, and uncooked berries are poisonous to humans

Other Names: american black elderberry, american elderberry, canada elderberry, common elderberry


Ships To Canada: yes
Ships to USA: no
Ships To Canada: yes
Ships to USA: yes