Dwarf European Elder

Sambucus nigra 'Nana'

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Dwarf European Elder (Sambucus nigra 'Nana') at Creekside Home & Garden

Dwarf European Elder

Dwarf European Elder

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  5 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Common Elder


A compact rounded garden shrub featuring clusters of small, creamy white flowers in spring followed by black berries; very adaptable, more restrained than the species, a far better choice for small-scale garden use, survives with minimal care

Ornamental Features

Dwarf European Elder features showy clusters of fragrant buttery yellow flowers held atop the branches in late spring. It has dark green foliage throughout the season. The compound leaves turn yellow in fall. The black fruits are held in clusters in early fall.

Landscape Attributes

Dwarf European Elder is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Dwarf European Elder is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Dwarf European Elder will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

This plant may not be hardy in our region, and certain restrictions may apply. Please contact the store for further details.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Massing  Screening  Garden  Naturalizing 
Flowers  Fruit  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features