Horticultural Performance of Eight American Elderberry Genotypes at Three Missouri Locations


American elderberry (Sambucus nigra subsp. Canadensis) is being increasingly cultivated in North America for its edible and medicinal fruit and flowers, yet remains largely undeveloped as a horticultural crop. Productive genotypes with desirable horticultural attributes, including disease and insect resistance, precocity, uniform fruit ripening, and large berry size are needed in order to advance the commercial production of elderberries. A four-year study of eight elderberry genotypes was established in 2008 at three diverse Missouri (USA) locations. Phenology, plant morphology, pest susceptibility, productivity, and fruit characteristics data were collected over three growing seasons, 2009-2011. Significant differences for most phenological, horticultural, and fruit juice characteristics were observed among the three sites, three years, and eight genotypes. The genotype "˜Ozark' was the earliest to break bud, produced fruit with high levels of soluble solids, and out-yielded most other genotypes at the three sites over the three-year study. None of the new genotypes produced berries as large as or larger than the standard "˜York' which is known for its large fruit. Some of the genotypes tested, especially "˜Ozark' show promise as potential cultivars and as breeding stock for further development of elderberry as a commercially-viable horticultural crop.


Environmental Plant Science and Natural Resources

Document Type

Conference Proceeding




Sambucus, fruit, yield, cultivar, management, phenology

Publication Date


Journal Title

International Symposium on Elderberry