Notable Features: Showy white flowers, shiny purple fruits for birds and humans; great for borders or integrated into hedgerows; will spread by suckers and grow very quickly in a leggy fashion. Will spread aggressively in a garden situation, not suitable for small garden plantings. Perfect for mixed-species hedgerows and savanna restorations where it will have competition and can spread out.
Attracts: The flowers provide only pollen as a floral reward to insect visitors. This attracts a variety of insects, including honeybees, little carpenter bees (Ceratina spp.), Halictid bees, Syrphid flies, bee flies (Bombyliidae), Muscid flies, other miscellaneous flies, long-horned beetles (Cerambycidae), tumbling flower beetles (Mordellidae), and other miscellaneous beetles. Little carpenter bees and mason bees (Osmia spp.) also construct nests for their larvae by tunneling into the soft pith of broken stems, causing little damage. Other insects feed destructively on the foliage, roots, and other parts of Common Elderberry (Sambucus nigra canadensis). These species include root- and stem-boring larvae of the Elderberry Longhorn (Desmocerus palliatus), stem-boring larvae of the Elder Borer Moth (Achetodes zeae), the Elder Aphid (Aphis sambuci), Elder Thrips (Neohydatothrips sambuci), and a flower- and fruit-eating plant bug (Neurocolpus jessiae). Birds that eat the small fruits include the Eastern Bluebird, Northern Cardinal, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, American Robin, House Finch, Wood Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, Cedar Waxwing, and White-throated Sparrow.
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