Elderberry, Red (Sambucus racemosa) - 50 seeds

Southern Seed Exchange

$2.95 $5.90

Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) - 50 Seeds

•Heirloom
•Non-GMO
•American grown seeds
•Perennial
•USDA Zone: 3-7

Description:
Red Elderberry is a tall shrub which can grow 4-12 feet tall in our area. It begins growth early in spring, when it produces large branching clusters of tiny white or cream flowers. The flowers are about 1/4 inch in diameter and have five petals. When closed, the flower buds are pink; when open, the flowers are white, cream, or yellowish. The flowers are fragrant, sometimes attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. The flower stalks are light green. Red Elderberry buds appear in early May. Like it's black elderberry cousin, it is grown as ornamental plant and for use as food and as remedy in traditional medicine.


Culinary Properties:
Note: Red elderberries are not safe to be eaten until cooked. Once cooked, red elderberries are safe and are used like black elderberries for making jam, jelly, pies, syrups etc.


Medicinal Properties:
Red elderberry has a number of medicinal uses. The roots were rubbed on the skin for aching, tired muscles or used as a foot bath for aching legs and feet. One group of native Americans used a decoction of flowers as a cough medicine.


Planting Instructions:
OUTDOORS: By far the easiest method is to direct sow outdoors in the fall and let Mother Nature do it's thing over the winter to break the dormancy. Sow at 1/4" depth, 10 feet apart, and 3-4 seeds per plant. Keep moist, but not wet.

INDOORS: Starting inside, elderberry is a long term, multiple stage process that needs BOTH scarification (soaking) and stratification (warm/cold treatment) to break the dormancy. Basically, we're trying to replicate what occurs naturally in nature. It's a long process, but one that we find is extremely rewarding. Elderberry is finicky and it’s such a gratifying feeling when you first see seedlings pop up. This paper is an excellent source to compare techniques and germination rates...

https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_PLANTMATERIALS/publications/mipmcrj11674.pdf

Germination rates vary wildly depending on technique from 5% with no seed prep to this technique which achieves roughly a 73% germination rate which is quite high for Elderberry. We highly recommend it.

STAGE 1 - SCARIFICATION: The fastest method is to soak the seeds in sulfuric acid for 10 mins and then thoroughly rinse. The seeds are then ready for Stage 2. The slower, but safer and easier method is to soak the seeds in HOT (175F) water for 10 minutes, allow to cool and continue to soak at room temperature for 24 hours.

STAGE 2 - WARM STRATIFICATION: After the soaking (scarification), the seeds will need a warm period. Place the seeds into a plastic bag with moist peat moss and place it into a warmer area of roughly 72-75° for 60 days occasionally checking to ensure the moss remains damp.

STAGE 3 - COLD STRATIFICATION: After the warm stratification, we will move to a cold period to break the dormancy. Place the damp peat moss seed bag into the refrigerator for 60 days occasionally checking to make sure moss remains damp. Here’s a link to a video demonstrating the cold stratification technique… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2XVXBqSWaI

STAGE 4 - FINALLY READY TO SOW: After that process (I know it's long), sow seeds at 3-4 seeds per pot at 1/4" depth with pH 5.2 to 5.14 mix and put pots in a warm, sunny area. Water regularly to ensure the soil is moist, but not wet. Allow 45 days to germinate.

STAGE 5 - TRANSPLANT: The seedlings can be transplanted when they are a few inches tall.


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*All information is provided for educational purposes only.

Collections: Fruits