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Nova Elderberry

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An easy-care addition to the edible landscape. Wide clusters of creamy white flowers appear in spring, making wonderful components for bouquets or for dipping in batter and making fritters. If left on the bush, the flowers develop into bountiful bunches of tender, deep purple berries used in jams, jellies, pies, and wines. Being native to North America, these fast-growing bushes also appeal to wildlife, like bees and hummingbirds, as a food source. Cold-hardy. Ripens in early August. Best pollinator: any other elderberry variety.


Bloom Color White
Fruit Color Purple
Fruit Size Large
Ripens/Harvest Early August
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy, Sandy
Soil Moisture Well Drained - Average Moistness
Soil pH Level 5.5 - 6.5
Taste Sweet
Texture Soft
Years to Bear 2 - 3
Zone Range 4 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 4 - 8
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

When your plant matures, it will be approximately 6 - 10' tall x 6 - 8' wide.

Recommended Spacing

We recommend spacing these plants 6 - 8' apart to ensure room for growth.


This variety requires another one for adequate pollination.

Cross-pollination by a different variety is key to its growing and bearing success. Plant one of these varieties within 50' for best pollination.

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.

Planting & Care

Learn all about how to grow elderberry plants in The Growing Guide. An entire section of our website dedicated to your growing success.

Shipping Information

Estimated Delivery Date

Arrives when it's time to plant

Your success is our priority. We work hard to make sure that your order arrives at the ideal time for planting in your location based on your local climate conditions.

Our Promise of Satisfaction

1 Year Warranty

Every order comes with our promise of satisfaction. If you aren't completely satisfied with your order, let us know within one year for a free one-time replacement or refund.

Questions & Answers

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Browse 23 questions Browse 23 questions and 76 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
other choices were not available
Burton S on Aug 9, 2020
It's said to be the best pollinator for the Ranch variety, which I'm also buying
LAIRD T on Jul 12, 2020
other choices were not available
Burton S on Aug 9, 2020
William F on Jul 30, 2020
It's said to be the best pollinator for the Ranch variety, which I'm also buying
LAIRD T on Jul 12, 2020
gardners review says best pollinator for adams
ellen l on Jun 3, 2020
more elderberry variety for myself
Joel M on May 30, 2020
Because York was out of stock.
Hawk H on May 25, 2020
to make jelly
Joanne R on May 24, 2020
Perfect pollinator for my other Elderberry bush.
Dana R on May 19, 2020
for pollination
dorina k on May 18, 2020
The reason why I bought a second elderberry because I read you have to have 2 elderberries to cross pollinate.
SYRREA P on May 13, 2020
A companion plant for the York - can't wait to use them as the front line of a wooded area in our yard.
Gayle U on May 8, 2020
ease of growing, lots of fruit
kathleen j on May 4, 2020
Elderberry have healthy benefits
Yelena P on May 2, 2020
Local growers use this variety
David H on Apr 18, 2020
My mother loves Elderberry Jam. It will he added to a jam making schedule.
Bethanee R on Apr 11, 2020
Gary F on Apr 9, 2020
As a pollinator for another elderberry plant - they are delicious and healthy!
Heather K on Apr 8, 2020
This was also the only other variety available, but I needed two varieties to have pollination.
Lisa D on Apr 8, 2020
Big berries and fast growing
Kimberly H on Apr 7, 2020
Same as for Johns Elderberry
Robert Field S on Apr 6, 2020
all that was left
David A on Apr 6, 2020
For future health bennifits
Kathleen P on Apr 6, 2020
Nova and Johns are the only 2 available, so I got both for cross pollination.
G L on Apr 5, 2020
to be a pollenator
Dianah B on Apr 1, 2020
wanted a "Marge".
Suzana O on Mar 26, 2020
Edward K on Mar 23, 2020
With the COVID scare, these are antioxidant berries and recommended for health
Sheri C on Mar 22, 2020
james r on Mar 22, 2020
Fits my area, plus already have one Nova and one York - both doing great
PHIL B on Mar 18, 2020
We are trying to get a variety of berries established on our small homestead. Last year was out first year to grow. We started small the first year. This year we are adding berries.
Megan P on Mar 13, 2020
I love elderberries
KAREN H on Feb 27, 2020
I chose this as a pollinator for the other elderberry I bought, but I also like that it's native. I grew up having elderberries in the yard, but this will be an experiment for me in a different climate and urban environment.
Julia M on Feb 19, 2020
Nova is supposed to be a good producer and should do well in my zone (7a). I'm pairing it with the York variety which was recommended. We shall see!
Laura Z on Jan 29, 2020
Elderberry diversity
Amy J on Jan 20, 2020
I chose this variety for cross pollination with my John???s Elderberry.
glenna d on Jan 9, 2020
I chose this because I want to make Elderberry jam and also to provide a food source for my bees (pollen & nectar). I also needed 2 types of Elderberry for pollination purposes.
Karen E on Jan 8, 2020
Large berries
Beth L on Dec 24, 2019
I tried 2 Adams and 2 Johns elderberries in this spring. They did so well, actually produced some berries in the first year, I thought I would try a couple of different varieties to see which I liked best. My first elderberries, never raised before.
Jeff B on Aug 23, 2019
recommended in a gardening article.
Rita F on Jul 26, 2019
Native plant for my location
rick s on Jul 13, 2019
I chose this variety for its dwarf or small size.
Laurette L on Jun 4, 2019
Childhood memories
Lenice W on Jun 1, 2019
This bush has great health benefits, berries make delicious medicinal jam for family and for gifting, and I have perfect growing location - lower side of a sandy hill as it adjoins a swampy area on the edge of woods. Wild elderberry bushes grow on sides of ditches around Hemlock Michigan so I???m hoping for success at growing 3 bushes on my property (Johns, Nova, and York). Plan to dig holes, put composted cow manure in bottom, fill with dirt/humus, top with wood chips. Can???t wait for berries!
Catherine A on May 17, 2019
for cross-pollenation to my johns Elderberry
Carmen M on May 11, 2019
I grew up with these trees as a kid and want them now in my home.
ladybirdgem on Mar 25, 2019
recommended for my area
CLAUDIA S on Feb 20, 2019
My daughter is slowly creating a fruit and berry farm in NE Oklahoma.
Cathey B on Feb 20, 2019
The Nova isnt supposed to be affected badly by partial shade
Danielle R on Feb 16, 2019
to pair with my York cultivar
Michelle D on Feb 6, 2019
I chose this plant because I can't grow blueberries in Colorado Springs and I wanted a dark berry for jellies. I'm hoping Elderberries do well out on the plains.
Yonge S on Feb 3, 2019
William F on Jul 30, 2020
gardners review says best pollinator for adams
ellen l on Jun 3, 2020
Do you treat your plants with neonicotinoids?
M K on Feb 8, 2017
BEST ANSWER: yes, this is an important question. I have beehives so I will not purchase unless answered.
Is this a dog safe plant?
BuddinHealthNut on Nov 18, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Unripe elderberries contain a toxic alkaloid, as well as cyanogenic glycosides. The plant is listed on the Deerfield Veterinary Clinic and the Pet Education websites as being toxic to dogs.
How fast do they grow?
Laurie M on Apr 7, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Mine grew to about 4 ft the first year with 5 dinner plate size clusters of blossoms & then berries.
The second (this) year, it is over 6 feet with 15-16 canes, all with blossom clusters forming at the end of each cane.
Do I have to cook elderberries before eating?
Steph on Aug 25, 2016
BEST ANSWER: It is best if you do because of the small seeds. The flowers make wonderful fried fritters and the berries area historically know medicine for colds and flu. They make an awesome.e wine and syrup.
i read this Elderberry needs a pollinator and i only bought one. does this mean it will bear fruit?
Fred M on Jul 31, 2018
BEST ANSWER: No, it will not. This plant requires a pollinator, but of a different variety, as noted in the description above. The same variety cannot pollinate itself. York or Johns are both good choices.
how do I get dwarf elderberry bushes?
Willie M on May 7, 2020
BEST ANSWER: You can summer prune to whatever height you want, or let the deer graze them and they might stay bonsai size for a few years.
Can i prune them to control height? I want to keep around 3 feet tall.
Lloyd H on Apr 6, 2020
BEST ANSWER: I guess you could try. I???ve never pruned any e-berries. Never seen one that short
Would this grow well in an area with morning sun & fairly wet soil? Thanks!
Heather C on Sep 7, 2019
BEST ANSWER: I see elderberries growing wild in ditches all over my area (MN Zone 4B) so I don't think moisture bothers them much. They're also common in thick hedgerows facing every direction, so part sun is probably fine. I'd guess they might stay a little smaller in that case. My York is young but growing fast in the part shade of a large hydrangea, which it will eventually outgrow.
Do these spread by their roots?
Banny on Apr 6, 2018
BEST ANSWER: They root spread.
Do Elderberry plants have any thorns?
Judy D on Jan 22, 2018
BEST ANSWER: No thorns. They grow as a dense, multi branched small tree, similar to a serviceberry but much faster growing and much weaker wood. Terrific grower if they have soil that does not dry out.
I ordered elderberrys this spring and they all died is there any way you could now fill that order now money was credited to my account ??
Relda H on Jul 12, 2020
BEST ANSWER: This is a Q&A forum for product questions: I'm sorry, but we don't have access to orders and customer information here. If you would kindly call Customer Support at 800.325.4180, email or visit and start a chat, they will be able to address your issue.
How deep and wide does an elderberry bush roots grow?
Bethanee R on Jun 1, 2020
BEST ANSWER: My Nova Elderberry Bush grows like crazy, it started growing rows of offshoots, some of them a couple of meters away from the plant center. I am clueless about the depth but it never suffers from dry weather, so they shouldn't be shallow. The bush looks fantastic, it is very well established although it is only 2 years old.
Do you need more than one .. or more than one variety to cross pollinate?
TSM2020 on Apr 18, 2020
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. You will need more than 1 variety for pollination.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
When is the best time to plant Elderberry?
jonie on Nov 10, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Thank you for your question. Because weather and soil conditions vary so much from year to year and even within your zone, it's best to think of your planting time as a range of favorable conditions instead of an exact time.

You can plant new plants and trees: 1) when the ground is not frozen, 2) when daytime temperatures are above freezing (32??F) and below 90??F, and 3) when extreme weather (blizzard, hail, torrential rain, etc.) is not in the forecast. Be sure to keep plants watered if you're transplanting in warm and/or dry weather.
Which are the best two varieties which do best in my 40065 zone?
Mary W on Mar 12, 2019
BEST ANSWER: These are all fine native American elderberries, and all will do very well in your zone. They just ripen at slightly different times, but taste similar and are all very easy to grow.
What is the best soil to plant in? Wet or dry?
Stan O on Jan 21, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Elderberries like well drained soil, with average moisture, meaning not too dry and not low/wet.
Is Nova an American or European variety ?
Keith B on Apr 27, 2018
BEST ANSWER: It's a native North American variety.
HELP! I have a Nova and a Johns. I have planted them in huge pots and they are huge with flower clusters. The leaves are turning yellow. I have researched this and very possible lack of iron. I have treated them with iron but they are still turning yellow. Is it still lacking a nutrient, too much water, our local water ? Would someone help ASAP...starting to panic.
Joyce on May 31, 2020
will my nova elderberry and pakistan mulberry do well in containers or will they grow better in ground? Zone 8a
NICOLE T on Apr 13, 2020
I am told you need a male and female elderberry for cross pollination. You only have one type of tree in stock. Why bother only planting one?
EofOrion on Apr 11, 2020
Where do the elderberry bush cuttings come from? What state?
Gschneider on Mar 17, 2020

Customer Reviews

4.7 / 5.0
21 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Excellent Pollinator
I purchased this Nova Elderberry as a pollinator for two exhisting York Elderberry Bushes in my yard. Each year I watched the York bushes produce plenty of flowers but never any berries. The Starkbrothers web site indicated the need for a polinator of a different variety, this spring we had an abundance of fresh berries.
September 11, 2016
over 5 years ago
Fantastic healthy plants that are doing great!
Bought the pair last year and they are doing fantastic. Growing quickly and looking forward to some berries.
May 23, 2016
over 5 years ago
Not a very experienced gardener, but they are growing beautifully!
I ordered Nova and York elderberry bushes early last year. They grew about 4 feet tall the first year, survived a Wisconsin winter and are really taking off this year and looking really healthy! There are some berries beginning to grow already as well.
May 31, 2016
over 5 years ago
Nova elderberry
This plant is growing well. Two previous years I bought them and they didn't survive the winter. These were bigger. Thank you.
May 13, 2016
over 4 years ago
My plants looked good for about a month and then they lost their leaves. Thinking maybe it was just some kind of shock or weather related I waited. They died, or seemed to. I waited until winter came and went thinking they would return, they never did
June 18, 2017
over 4 years ago
Great Elderberry
This elderberry is a rapid growth specimen, as well as very healthy looking. It had beautiful large flower clusters this spring.
June 28, 2016
over 5 years ago
Nova Elderberry
My Nova elderberry plant arrived well packaged and looking healthy. It has now been in the ground for about 2 months and is producing a lot of new growth
June 22, 2017
over 4 years ago
Easy to grow. Super vigorous plant. It's already taller than me (and I'm not short!)
May 17, 2017
over 4 years ago
Nova elderberry
They are doing very well should have lots of berries this summer . They are growing and looking very healthy
May 21, 2018
over 3 years ago
I bought a Nova & a York bareroot & also potted of those varieties. I had berries the first year on the bare root. I couldn't believe it! Very thankful that I ordered these & i'm excited to see what each year brings from these plants.
December 12, 2018