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Sambucus ebulus (Dwarf elder)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
1.8m
Max height
1.2m
Max spread
2-5 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Sambucus ebulus

Other names

Dwarf elder, Danewort, Dane weed, Danesblood, European dwarf elder, Walewort, Dwarf elderberry, Elderwort, Blood hilder, Ebulum humile, Sambucus herbacea, Sambucus humilis, Sauquillo, Yezgo, Sauco menor

Genus

Sambucus Sambucus

Species

S. ebulus - S. ebulus is a vigorous, rhizomatous, deciduous perennial with erect stems bearing pungent, pinnate leaves divided into five to nine, long, lance-shaped, toothed, often keeled leaflets turning red in autumn. Flay corymbs of white to pale pink flowers in summer are followed by spherical, glossy, black fruit.


Sambucus ebulus is: Deciduous

Fragrance

Foliage has a pungent scent, often described as unpleasant.

Habit

Erect, Spreading

Toxicity

Used in traditional/herbal medicine. Raw fruit is poisonous. High-dose consumption of fruit is toxic. All other parts are poisonous.

Flower

White in Summer

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Resistant to deer browse.

Specific pests

Black-fly , Glasshouse red spider mite Black-fly , Glasshouse red spider mite

Verticillium wilt Verticillium wilt

General care

Pruning

Cut back to 2-3 buds from the base in early spring.

Propagation

Sow seed in a cold frame in autumn. Can be sown in spring if seed is cold stratified for 2 months. May self-seed from fallen fruit.

Propagation methods

Seed, Suckers


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Where to grow

Sambucus ebulus (Dwarf elder) will reach a height of 1.8m and a spread of 1.2m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Banks and Slopes, Hedging/Screens, Wildlife, Woodland

Cultivation

Prefers moist, neutral to alkaline loam in full sun. Easily tolerates heavy clay. Tolerates partial shade. Spreads by underground rhizomes. Drier conditions may control spread. May be invasive in ideal growing conditions.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Sambucus ebulus

Other names

Dwarf elder, Danewort, Dane weed, Danesblood, European dwarf elder, Walewort, Dwarf elderberry, Elderwort, Blood hilder, Ebulum humile, Sambucus herbacea, Sambucus humilis, Sauquillo, Yezgo, Sauco menor

Genus

Sambucus Sambucus

Species

S. ebulus - S. ebulus is a vigorous, rhizomatous, deciduous perennial with erect stems bearing pungent, pinnate leaves divided into five to nine, long, lance-shaped, toothed, often keeled leaflets turning red in autumn. Flay corymbs of white to pale pink flowers in summer are followed by spherical, glossy, black fruit.

Native to

Central Europe, Northwestern Africa, Southern Europe, Southwestern Asia

Foliage

Deciduous

Fragrance

Foliage has a pungent scent, often described as unpleasant.

Habit

Erect, Spreading

Toxicity

Used in traditional/herbal medicine. Raw fruit is poisonous. High-dose consumption of fruit is toxic. All other parts are poisonous.


Colour

Flower

White in Summer

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Resistant to deer browse.

Specific pests

Black-fly , Glasshouse red spider mite

Specific diseases

Verticillium wilt

General care

Pruning

Cut back to 2-3 buds from the base in early spring.

Propagation

Sow seed in a cold frame in autumn. Can be sown in spring if seed is cold stratified for 2 months. May self-seed from fallen fruit.

Propagation methods

Seed, Suckers


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Sambucus ebulus (Dwarf elder) will reach a height of 1.8m and a spread of 1.2m after 2-5 years.

Suggested uses

Banks and Slopes, Hedging/Screens, Wildlife, Woodland

Cultivation

Prefers moist, neutral to alkaline loam in full sun. Easily tolerates heavy clay. Tolerates partial shade. Spreads by underground rhizomes. Drier conditions may control spread. May be invasive in ideal growing conditions.

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive

Soil pH

Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Moisture-retentive Tell us...
Soil pH: Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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