Sambucus (elder or elderberry) is a genus of between 5 and 30 species of shrubs or small trees in the moschatel family, Adoxaceae. Sambucus Australasica which is commonly known as Yellow Elderberry or Native Elderberry is an eastern Australian shrub which is usually found in and on the edges of rainforest.
Overview of Sambucus Australasica
• Compound leaves are imparipinnate in form for this shrub.
• It has a total length of 6 to 25 cm.
• This is a shrub that grows up to 4 meters tall.
• Three to five leaflets are reverse lanceolate or narrow-elliptic in shape which is 2 to 10 cm long and 0.4 to 3 cm wide.
• They are glossy above, toothed and hairless.
• The compound leaf stem is between 2 and 10 cm long.
• The leaflet stems are 2 to 5 mm long.
• The shrub bears scented, creamy yellow flowers form from October to March.
• The yellow round shaped fruit are 5 mm in diameter.
Scientific classification for Sambucus Australasica
• Kingdom: Plantae
• Phylum: Tracheophyta
• Class: Magnoliopsida
• Order: Dipsacales
• Family: Caprifoliaceae or Adoxaceae
• Genus: Sambucus
• Species: S. australasica
Growing/Caring conditions of Sambucus
• Plant at least two different cultivators of elderberry bushes to facilitate fertilization.
• Position the bushes in an area of full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil near an outer boundary of your property.
• The branches of mature bushes become weighed down with berry clusters in late summer.
• So, put them in a location that doesn’t interfere with walkways, lawn mowing or nearby plants sunlight requirements.
• Water elderberry bushes frequently during their first year in the garden to keep the surrounding soil consistently moist.
• Once established, both American and European elderberries tolerate drought conditions.
• They may exhibit reduced flowering and berry yields unless watered during extended dry periods.
• Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch in a 3- to 4-foot-wide area around Sambucus bushes.
• In addition to retaining moisture in the soil and suppressing weeds, you can easily see and remove the suckers that sprout up around the bushes’ bases.
• Prune elderberries in early spring before the leaves begin to open.
• During the first two years, allow five to seven of the bush’s multiple stems to grow freely.
• Cut any new stems that emerge down to ground level to keep the plant from becoming leggy.
• Once an elderberry bush is more than 6 to 8 feet tall, prune away up to half of its branches to maintain an attractive, symmetrical appearance.
• Prune back stems more than 3 years old to the ground to allow new stems to grow for more vigorous fruit production.
• Examine elderberry bushes routinely for signs of fungus disease.
• If twig canker appears, immediately cut the entire stem back to the ground and burn it or discard in the trash.
• Watch for any stems that die back, a problem that may be caused by elder shoot borers.
• Cut the dead stems away in the autumn and discard to prevent the pests from overwintering in the plant.
• Protect your elderberry crop from birds by covering the entire bush with lightweight netting.