An elderberry is a large bush or shrub that produces bluish-black fruit in bunches that are used in wines, juices, jellies and jams. The berries themselves are quite bitter, so they are rarely eaten by themselves. The shrubs can tolerate different conditions like poor soil or overly wet areas. One thing growing elderberries cannot tolerate, however, is drought. When planting elderberry bushes, you should note that the berries will grow on the bushes the first year you plant them. Just remember that the berries will do better the second year.