Only the blue or purple berries of elderberry are edible. Game birds, squirrels and other rodents, and several kinds of browsers also feed on the fruit or foliage of elderberry. Bears love to eat the elderberry fruits while deer, elk, and moose browse on the stems and foliage. The elderberries are important sources of summer food for many kinds of songbirds.
Elderberry is planted because of its forage and cover value, productivity, adaptability, and ease of establishment. It is a useful ground cover for stabilizing streambanks and eroding sites. It provides food, cover, perching, and nesting sites for many species of birds and food and cover for various other wildlife, and it is important as browse for mule deer and elk.
Contributed by: USDA NRCS National Plant Data Center & the Biota of North America Program
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