Name: Sambucus nigra or canadensis aka elderberry. S. nigra is the European elder, and the S. canadensis is the native plant that’s considered to have more flavorful fruit.
Type of Plant: A large, sprawling shrub that flowers in the early summer and is filled with dark purple berries in August. Some cultivars have yellow or purple foliage, and few to no berries, while other varieties have green leaves and are dripping with fruit.
Why I love this: I especially love the berries on this plant. They are weighty clusters that start off in shades of green that turn to dark purple and almost black, shiny berry. It’s a great plant for birds and other wildlife. And a good plant for people too if they like to make jelly or Elderberry wine.
A Word to the Wise: This is a very large growing shrub. I’ve seen elderberries that are over 15 feet tall. So plan accordingly. Place these where they can get big or be willing to cut them down to the ground frequently.