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.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Large shrub to 6 meters tall; the twigs with a soft pithy center.
Opposite, pinnately compound with 5-7 lanceolate leaflets.
White or creamy, minute; in large pyramidal clusters at ends of branches.
Small berries 5-6 mm across, usually bright red, but sometimes purplish-black.
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).