Page authors: Ben Legler, David Giblin
Sambucus racemosa
red elderberry
Specimens
Photos

Distribution: Widely distributed on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains, northern Great Plains, Great Lakes region, and eastern North America.

Habitat: A wide variety of habitats, typically in forests, forest edge, fields, and wet areas.

Flowers: March-July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Description:
General:

Large shrub to 6 meters tall; the twigs with a soft pithy center.

Leaves:

Opposite, pinnately compound with 5-7 lanceolate leaflets.

Flowers:

White or creamy, minute; in large pyramidal clusters at ends of branches.

Fruits:

Small berries 5-6 mm across, usually bright red, but sometimes purplish-black.

Identification Notes:

Look for opposite pinnately compound leaves, pyramidal clusters of tiny white flowers, and red or purple-black fruits (S. nigra ssp. caerulea has flat-topped flower clusters and bluish-white fruits).

Accepted Name:
Sambucus racemosa L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 270. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Infraspecies:
var. arborescens – coast red elderberry    Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California.
var. melanocarpa – black elderberry    Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to California, east to the Rocky Mountains and northern Great Plains.
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Sambucus racemosa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Sambucus racemosa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Sambucus racemosa photos.

USDA Plants: Sambucus racemosa information.

91 photographs:
Group by