Where can I get elderberry varieties to grow in Canada?
We grow 26 elderberry varieties at our farm in cold hardiness zone 6b, Salmon Arm, BC.
If you live in the north, focus on growing the eastern varieties native to Canada.
Sambucus canadensis (aka Sambucus nigra. ssp canadensis) -Native to Canada/US.
Bob Gordon is one of the best for flavour and high brix (sweetness). It ranked as the heaviest producer in trials at the university of Missouri. Identified and collected from the wild by Robert Gordon, Charlotte Cooper, and Andrew Thomas near Osceola, MO in 1999. Added bonus is the berry clusters hang decumbently which discourages birds from having an easy snack! Semi-determinate to determinate in our lattitude. Bob Gordon ripens a bit later than some of the other varieties and for this reason I do not recommend it for anyone any further north than where we live at 50.7 degrees latitude.
Ranch is very vigorous and heavy yielding. It is more drought tolerant than others and is the quickest to root from cuttings. Stems are strong and upright. Bushes are quick to establish. An all around impressive variety! Strongly determinate. Ranch begins to ripen earlier than many other varieties. It does well in poor soils, but is not the best for alkaline (high pH soil types)
Wyldewood is a widely grown variety in the Midwest. Selected from the wild by Jack Millican near Eufaula, OK, in 1995. Excellent for harvest and processing with good flavour. Fruit set is reliable and prolific. This variety is completely indeterminate, and will continue to produce flowers until frost kills the plant – it is possible to still see fresh flowers in December! Wyldewood is the latest ripening of all our varieties and for this reason I do not recommend it for anyone growing even as far north as where we live at 50.7 degrees latitude. It would still be a great choice if you lived at a slightly lower lattitude, or just want to grow it for flower production.
Adams is an older variety originating in 1926 in New York, selected from the wild by William Adams. Tall variety which has small berries, but yields well and has large clusters. Ripens late for us, but nonetheless still ripens well. It also produces a lot of flowers as it is indeterminate. Adams performs quite well for us. Extremely vigorous.
York is a cross between Ezyoff and Adams 2 done in 1926. Plant large / productive; berry clusters heavy, berries are quite large and deeply red in colour. Ripens well for us, but does so medium to late. Vigorous and bears well for many years.
Nova Seedling of Adams 2 released in 1960 from research station in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Large dark fruit, with deep red juice. Sweeter than Kent and Victoria. Grown by commercial growers in Canada; Tolerates higher latitudes better than some varieties. Nova is the unrivalled earliest ripener of all varietys we grow.
Scotia Seedling of Adams 2 released in 1960 from research station in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Large fruit, ripens early. Sweeter than Kent and Victoria. Grown by commercial growers in Canada; should tolerate higher latitudes better than some varieties.
Victoria Seedling of Adams 2 released in 1960 from research station in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Grown by commercial growers in Canada; tolerates higher latitudes better than some varieties. Victoria is the most vigorous and best producer of the Kentville 5. Deep purple clusters that ripen early and have excellent colour.
Kent Seedling of Adams 1 released in 1960 from research station in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Grown by commercial growers in Canada; tolerates higher latitudes better than some varieties. Kent is in the top two producers of the Kentville 5 in our experience. Deep purple fruit.
Coomer Developed in Vermont by Lewis Hill. Very cold hardy, ripens early and uniformly. Beautiful clusters with large deep red berries. It has very decumbent cymes which are fairly bird resistant.
Berry Hill was developed in Vermont by Lewis Hill. Very cold hardy, ripens uniformly and early. Beatiful clusters with large deep red berries. It has very decumbent cymes which are fairly bird resistant.
Johns Elderberry Our understanding is that it is one of the largest bushes of the elderberry varieties, has large reddish fruit clusters and is a good producer. It seems to be a bit on the late side when it comes to ripening.
Sambucus nigra - Native to Europe.
Marge is a seedling of Haschburg (S. nigra). Marge produces on second year wood. A very heavy producer of small decumbent cymes, and is highly resistant to eriophyid mite. For unknown reasons Marge adapts better to many north american climates than any other S. nigra variety. Commercial growers have great success with it in climates with both hot summers and cold winters. Some sources indicate that the source of it's unique characteristics is that It may be a hybrid with s. canadensis
Jumbo This is a sambucus nigra type that was found growing in Vermont. It produces large cymes which are erect. Other than this feature it is eerily similar in appearance to Marge. Vigorous, large, productive and proven to be cold hardy.
Sampo is particularly suited to juice production. Extremely vigorous high producer with stiff and strong branches. A result of recent breeding efforts from the Research Center for Horticulture in Arslev, Denmark.
Samdal resulted from recent breeding efforts from the Research Center for Horticulture in Arslev, Denmark. Tends not to sucker. Excellent yield and highly vigorous. Pollinates Samyl.
Samyl is a result of recent breeding efforts from the Research Center for Horticulture in Arslev, Denmark. Particularly known for its flavourful flowers. As productive as Samdal. Both are required for pollination. Samyl is one of the most vigorous varieities of s. nigra on our farm.
Sambu A result of recent breeding efforts from the Research Center for Horticulture in Arslev, Denmark.
Haschburg originates from an Austrian breeding program in Klosterneuburg, Austria. It is often cited as the most widely grown elderberry varietal in Germany and Austria. Produces abundant clusters of large juicy and flavourful berries. It appears to be the happiest of all the sambucus nigra varieties on our farm.
Haidegg 17 is a particularly outstanding selection from Klosterneuburg, Austria. Cymes significantly larger than Haschburg and Sampo. Full yield reached in a short time. Up to 25t/ha.
Bradet This is one of a series of Elders bred for vitamin production and the food industry in Romania in the 1950s According to the Romanian book I have on elderberry production it is an excellent producer.
Allesso Selection from the wild, Denmark.
Korsor Selection from the wild, Denmark. Flowers are high in sugar content, used in Wines and Cordials.