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York Elderberry

Available Spring 2018

Supplies are limited so make sure you don't miss out next time by having us automatically notify you when it becomes available again.


Bring edible beauty to your landscape. In spring, these plants feature lovely white blooms, and in summer, they produce a bounty of soft, dark purple berries that are good for cooking or making delicious jams, jellies and wines rich in vitamin C. Berries ripen later than counterpart: Nova. Easy-to-grow plants tolerate dry or moist soils once established. Fruit is not affected by growing in partial shade. Regular summer watering is necessary for consistent fruit quality. Shrubs also make great wildlife attractants. Cold hardy. Ripens in August. Best pollinator: any other elderberry variety.


Bloom Color White
Fruit Color Purple
Fruit Size Medium - Large
Ripens/Harvest Mid-late 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.

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.

Questions & Answers

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Browse 7 questions Browse 7 questions and 13 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
Obtaining a third elderberry variety --- experiment.
James H on Feb 26, 2017
Obtaining a third elderberry variety --- experiment.
James H on Feb 26, 2017
Smaller size.
Susan A on Sep 30, 2016
Smaller size.
Susan A on Sep 30, 2016
I have read that Red Elderberry plants are reasonably deer resistant. Do you know if the varieties you sell are similarly deer resistant?
Krista E on Feb 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Planted 6 plants last may and all have survived quite nicely. The plants seem relatively easy to establish and have shown solid growth for one year. While we have a healthy deer population, they have not impacted the plants to date. If in doubt, I recommend fencing the plants until they are established. Better safe than sorry. RH
Can Nova and York elderberries be consumed raw or should they be cooked first? There is a lot of conflicting information on the web (go figure) so I am unsure on how best to process these berries. Thanks.
mattj on Mar 14, 2017
BEST ANSWER: The Sambucus canadensis elderberries should be fully ripe before consuming, but they can be consumed raw. You may find that the berries are more tasty when cooked (especially if you're planning to make jelly or elderberry syrup). You can also eat the flowers if you don't mind foregoing some berries in the process. They're great when battered and fried like fritters!
Is this Sambucus Nigra? If this not, do you have plant for sale?
Al P on Sep 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Thank you for your question. Sambucus nigra are European elderberries; 'York' is a Sambucus canadensis, an American elderberry.
Can Sambucus canadensis be shipped to California?
Christa J on Sep 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Thank you for your question. There are currently no specific exclusions on elderberry plants in CA.
are Elderberry plants shipped in pots or barefoot?
Krista E on Feb 24, 2016
BEST ANSWER: They are currently available either way. You can see the available options in the drop down box near the top of the page.

Customer Reviews

4.6 / 5.0
7 Reviews
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1 Star
wonderful smaller elderberry bush
bough a york and nova because they said they were well paired and smaller than the average elderberry bush. i wanted to grow these for medicinal purposes in a small city yard. I planted both last year in late august, i live in inner city grand rapids michigan (zone 5). the literature said it might be 2-3 years from planting to see fruit, i'm pleased to announce i got flowers and now berries on both less than one year later. The York is HUGE, four giant clusters of flowers/fruit. The Nova is still quite a bit smaller, half the size of the York but managed to produce one cluster of flowers/berries. Very happy with this purchase and the manner in which they were shipped. Would highly recommend Stark Brothers!
August 28, 2016
1 year ago
Beautiful tall first year bushes from bare root plants!
I planted little bare root sticks last fall, hoping they would survive our increasingly confusing weather. We had such a long cold spell I worried about all of my plants in December and January. February through May brought an early wet spring, with lots of heavy snows. To my delight, my elderberries are four feet tall at the end of August. Looking forward to fruit next year.
August 23, 2016
1 year ago
All of the elderberry plants I ordered are doing great. This is their first year, so is hard to know what they will continue to do but they are about to burst into bloom now. thanks I am very happy with them.
May 12, 2016
over 2 years ago
Happy in the shade
I planted three of these under a Cedar Elm. I think they get too much shade but they are staying alive and even coming up as new plants from under ground shoots a foot or so from the main plant. They don't get any attention but are holding on really well, especially for our hot summers.
May 17, 2016
over 2 years ago
York Elderberry thriving
Our York elderberry has been planted in a natural setting at the edge of a woods where wild elderberries thrive. It is doing very well, surviving and also thriving there.
May 2, 2017
over 3 years ago
Great for TN
Plants had fruit second year. Third year started to spread so we are able to make slips for replanting.
May 13, 2017
over 2 years ago
Lasted JUST over a year
I don't know what happened to it; it did not appear to be damaged or diseased when I received it - it just seemingly "failed to thrive." Thank goodness, my Mac apple tree is flourishing - I think I'll have some apples one of these years (provided I'm still breathing!)
May 18, 2017
1 year ago
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