The common elder (.Sambucus nigra) is a deciduous tree native to Europe, western Asia and parts of northern Africa and now grows wild over much of the USA and Canada. The shiny purple-black blue or red berries are widely used in preserves, and both the fruit and flowers are popular for making wine. The plant grows as a large shrub or small tree and is often considered too wild and vigorous for the garden. Its new woody growth gives off an unpleasant smell and was used in the past as a fly-repellent. In the northern USA, the American or sweet elder (5. canadensis) is widely grown and several improved clones are available. They have an extremely high Vitamin C content. Depending on the variety, they grow from zones 3-9, but are not common in zones 5-8.
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