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Wild American Elderberry

The Wild American Elderberry is a native plant that thrives in the area east of the Rocky Mountains. Of all the main elderberry varieties, the wild American elderberry is said to be the sweetest. While the berries are generally sweet, there is a variation in each berry that can range from bland, bitter, to raw. Most people prefer to use elderberries in recipes as this evens out the flavors from each berry.

  • Kingdom: Plant
  • Order: Dipsacales
  • Family: Adoxaceae
  • Genus: Sambucus
  • Species: S. canadensis
  • Binomial name: Sambucus canadensis

Wild American Elderberry Trivia

  • The fruit of the wild American Elderberry is still being used as a dye.
  • The leaves and the inner bark of the plan are used as an insecticide.
  • The leaves of the wild American elderberry was used in herbalism as a treatment for various ailments.
  • Unripe fruits are toxic due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides and alkaloids.

Wild American Elderberry Buying Guide

Wild American Elderberries are rarely sold as fresh fruit and are usually found in its processed form as syrups, wines, jellies, and jams.

If you do find them for sale, it will probably be at farmers’ markets and roadside stalls. Sellers of the wild American elderberry will let you taste a few berries to see if you like the taste before purchasing them. The same guidelines apply for the elderberry as with any other berry, they should be plump and juicy looking with no visible blemishes. Also, avoid wild American elderberries that aren’t fully black or that has still a light shade to it because unripe elderberries are slightly toxic.

Wild American Elderberry Production & Farming in Texas

While the wild American elderberry isn’t growing in popularity when it comes to being table fruit, the demand for them has gone up rapidly in the past few years. This is due to its high levels of antioxidants and the increasing demands for healthier food and beverages.

The wild American elderberry grows extremely well in the Eastern part of Texas. They can be found on roadsides, abandoned homesteads and in many other places as it is a very hardy plant that requires little to no additional care once it is established.

They are also planted to diversify crops and add extra value to fruit processors as the processing requires is similar to other fruiting perennials.


Due to their hardy nature, wild American elderberries are almost always organically grown. It is relatively disease-free and pest-free and the only protection needed by the fruit is netting to protect the crop from being feasted on by birds.


The Wild American Elderberry grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 through 9. For maximum flowering and fruiting, full sun is required, but it can also survive in partial sun. The soil should be well-drained with pH levels ranging from 5.5-6.5.


Roadside stalls or farmers’ markets use no special packaging when they sell fresh wild American elderberries.

Enjoying Wild American Elderberries

Wild American elderberries can be snacked on raw, just be careful of consuming unripe berries as they are slightly toxic. Simply give them a good wash under running water to remove any debris or bugs on the surface before eating them and you should be good.

Warning: Consuming too much wild American elderberries can cause nausea, so if you choose to eat them raw, eat in moderation.


Wild American Elderberries should be frozen for longer-term storage. Just wash them thoroughly under running water then remove all of the stems before freezing them.

Note: Freezing wild American elderberries will have negative effects on antioxidant levels in the fruit. It is much better to process/cook them immediately instead of freezing them.


Making syrup is one of the main “cooked” forms of Wild American Elderberries. To make a syrup, add elderberries, honey, water, and other herbal remedies and simmer for up to an hour. These syrups have been used as herbal remedies for coughs, the flu, and other conditions for decades.

Wild American Elderberries also make for good jams and jellies, as well as wines and liqueur. Due to their size and seeds, it is not advisable to use them in baking applications.


  • Carbs
    • Even with seemingly high sugar content, wild American elderberries fall on the low end of the glycemic index scale. A low glycemic index means that people with diabetes can safely consume this superfruit without worrying about their blood sugar levels spiking up.
  • Fiber
    • Aside from being rich in antioxidants, elderberries are also rich in dietary fiber with one 100g serving providing almost 30% of the recommended daily intake.
      • Dietary fiber is essential in maintaining gut health.
      • Dietary fiber also helps fight symptoms of constipation by bulking up stool and making it easier to pass.
    • Vitamins and minerals:
      • Wild American Elderberries contain the some of the highest antioxidant strengths among all berries with an ORAC value of 10,775 TE, compared with 5, 562 TE for blueberries (which is also regarded as a superfruit.)
        • These compounds help fight oxidative stress in our bodies that cause cancers, infections, and degenerative diseases.
      • Elderberries are also an excellent source of Vitamin C.
        • One serving of elderberries provides at least 60% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C.
          • Vitamin C is essential for boosting your immune system, as well as wound healing.
        • Elderberries are also a good source Vitamin A with one serving providing 20% of the recommended daily intake.
          • Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy skin and proper eye health.

When Are Wild American Elderberry in Season in Texas?

To find out when Wild American Elderberry are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.



  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 106 6.5
  • Carbs: 27g 9%
  • Sugar: 0g 0%
  • Fiber: 10g 40%
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0.7g 0%
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 8.7mg 0%
  • Vitamin C 87%
  • Vitamin A 17%
  • Calcium 4.20%
  • Iron 13%
  • Potassium 406mg 12%
  • Zinc 0.11mg 1%
  • Folate 9mg
  • Magnesium 5mg 1.5%


When are Wild American Elderberry in season in Texas?

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

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