Last year I took a course at the Mt. Cuba Center
about growing our native Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis
, which was very informative. They went over the folk lore, how to grow them, how to make jam/jelly out of the berries, lunch was served featuring Elderberry jam, and best of all everyone got to take home a plant. Truly I'm annoyed that I can't find such wonderful classes anywhere else in my area.
So here's the plant I took home today. And to my delight, it's going to flower on at least four stems. Now one of the things I learned is that this is a very vigorous growing shrub. They push out multiple 6' stems in a year, form that perfect V shape sought after in so many shrubs for landscaping purposes. Their only real issue is they can spread a little, mostly by new stems coming up on the lower trunk and adjacent roots, however one friend told me that their plants sucker out much farther away from the plant. But I have to say of all the plants I've seen, I've never found this plant growing in a colony or grove that such root suckering would create. Something brought up at the class were plants that look like Elderberry and there's a surprising number of plants with the same leaf structure such as Poison Sumac, Sumac Trees in general, and a few others too. Also it's not uncommon for Elderberries to reseed themselves naturally anywhere that birds perch. They also root well from cuttings which I think I'll experiment with as they only only live ~20 years or so before they peter out.