A low suckering deciduous shrub reaching up to 2.5m high and wide. Can tolerate light shade. Prefers moist soil. Not a vigorous spreader.
Large blooms appear later than its European counterpart with a much longer flowering period (July-November). Two varieties need to be planted in order for fruit to set. Fruit used much like European elder – better cooked.
Flowers can be eaten raw or cooked – picked unopened, covered in batter and made into fritters. Soaked and used to flavour drinks. Dried and used as a tea.
Was used widely as a medicinal plant by Native Americans and still regularly used as remedies for a range of ailments.