Page author: David Giblin
Sambucus nigra
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Widely distributed throughout Washington; southern British Columbia south to California, east to western Montana and New Mexico.

Habitat: Valley bottoms and open slopes where not too dry, from near sea level to moderate elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Introduced

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Coarse, deciduous shrub 2-4 m. tall, usually with several stems from the base, the twigs soft, glaucous and pithy.


Leaves opposite, petiolate, pinnately compound, with 5-9 lanceolate to lance-ovate, acuminate, sharply serrate leaflets 5-15 cm long and 2-6 cm. wide, usually glabrous.


Inflorescence a flat-topped, many-flowered umbel up to 20 cm. wide, with several rays from the base that are again branched; flowers creamy-white, 4-7 mm. across, the 5 corolla lobes longer than the flat tube; stamens 5; style very short, ovary inferior.


Fruit a globose berry, 4-6 mm. thick, bluish-black, but with a dense, pale, powder-blue bloom.

Accepted Name:
Sambucus nigra L.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Sambucus nigra in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Sambucus nigra checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Sambucus nigra atlas page.

CalPhotos: Sambucus nigra photos.

USDA Plants: Sambucus nigra information.

6 photographs:
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