A deciduous shrub or small tree, elder or elderberry grows up to 20-28ft tall and has rough, corky bark and compound leaves composed of five or so toothed, dark green leaflets. Heads of creamy white, scented flowers appear in summer leading to shin, blue-black berries in fall with some. The flowers attract bees while berries are enjoyed by birds. A sunny position is best although the plant will tolerate bright, dappled shade or a few hours of full shade each day. Friable, fertile soil that drains well yet stays moist is best, but elder accepts a wide range of soil types. Grows well on chalky soils.