American Elderberry - Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis
Often found in disturbed sites, such as alongside roads and in ditches, this shrub or small tree (20 feet) is native to both sides of the Rocky Mountains and central and eastern Canada. It also grows south to Central America. The leaves are pinnately compound and opposite, up to a foot in length with 5-7 leaflets. The leaflets are serrate and have an unpleasant smell when crushed. The flowers have 5 petals and are small, but they are arranged in large, showy clusters. The fruit is dark purple and edible. The fruits are used for jams and wine, but must be cooked before consumption.