Sambucus nigra Sambucus nigra File:Sambucus nigra 004.jpg
Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis - Bark - common elder Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis - Twig - common elder Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis - Leaf - common elder
Common Name Blue Elderberry
Latin Name Sambucus nigra
Family Caprifoliaceae
Sunset zones / USDA zones 2-7, 14-17 / 6-8
Type / Form Tree / Medium
Native Habitat Riparian, near permanent water or above shallow sub-terranium water
Soil Most moist soils
Water Regular
Exposure Full sun
Height X Width To 12 feet X 12 feet
Protective Mechanism None
Leaves Green, deciduous
Flowers Monoecious; small, white, borne in dense, flat-topped clusters, up to 8 inches across, appearing in summer. Small, berrylike drupe, purple-black, and very juicy, up to 1/4 inch in diameter, borne in flat-topped clusters, maturing in late summer.
Bark / Roots Smooth and brown becoming shallowly furrowed and rough with age. Stout, silvery- to yellow-gray with obvious, warty lenticles, large white pith; buds are very small, red-brown and pointed, terminal buds are generally lacking.
Maintenance Low
Propagation Seed, cuttings
Pests and diseases  
Landscape uses Erosion control, low maintenance
Garden Suitability Ethnobotanical, Thornless, Songbird, Butterfly
Nature Value Erosion control, animal habitat, berries eaten by animals
Native American Uses Berries eaten raw or dried for later use, stems and bark used to make four colors of dye for basketry, stems used to make arrows and musical instruments, medicinal value
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    Nursery, images, and data
    Nursery Oak Hills Nursery, 13874 Ranchero Road, Oak Hills, 92345, 760-947-6261