As the US farming industry fast tracks its crops and learns the nuances of elderberry growing, harvesting and making value add products, it’s not coming without a war on marketing. Against other countries and even their fellow US farmers growing different subspecies.

One social media post claimed that (Sambucus) “Canadensis” is the only (safe and effective) subspecies that American should find on their labels.

Both the European and American black elderberry are of the genus Sambucus and species Nigra. The nuance this particular farmer/maker is trying to talk about is a sub-species. Herein lies the ‘splitting of hairs’ discussion. In this particular case, the farmer/maker attempts to discount (whereby the word “toxic” is typically used) all other types to promote whatever he or she uses.


European Black Elderberry: Sambucus Nigra Nigra
American Black Elderberry: Sambucus Nigra Canadensis
In the near future, we’ll also start to see marketing that starts to differentiate cultivars (aka: “cultivated variety” by farmers vs natural variety that occurs in the wild). Claims like: “York is nutritionally superior than Wyldewood” (in the American markets), or “Allesso is nutritionally superior better than Marge” (in the Canadian, UK, Eastern European and potentially Australian markets). 
Cultivars can also be likened to hybrids. While there is no established peer-reviewed science to prove nor disprove, some claim that cultivars are nutritionally superior. This kind of in-depth research needs to be done before we can make and substantiate claims.

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