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Sambucus racemosa

red elderberry add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrub-like Trees, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: neutral, rich, average, loam, clay, sand, gravel/rock

Height: 5'-20'

Bloom Time: May, June

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, attracts butterflies, attracts hummingbirds, berries, fall interest, pond margin plant, stream margin plant

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry)
  • Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry)
  • Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry)
  • Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Sambucus racemosa

Also known as:

red elderberry

,

scarlet elder

,

stinking elderberry

,

stinking elder

,

red-berried elder

,

bunchberry elder

,

red elder

Scientific Synonyms:

Sambucus callicarpa, Sambucus microbotrys, Sambucus pubens, Sambucus pubens var. arborescens, Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens, Sambucus racemosa var. pubens, Sambucus racemosa var.racemosa

Description

Sambucus racemosa is a large deciduous tree-like shrub that can reach a mature height of 20', with multiple arching stems. The leaves are opposite, compound, consisting of 5 to 7 oblong, pubescent leaflets with serrated margins, and produce good fall color. Conical clusters of white flowers are borne on the upper part of the stems. These give way to conspicuous clusters of bright-red berries that are very attractive to wildlife. Both leaves and flowers have a distinctive, arguably unpleasant fragrance.

Cultivation

Red elderberry prefers environments that are consistently moist and in full sun. It will tolerate open shade, particularly in the warmer limits of its range. It will adapt to a wide range on circumneutral soils, including well-drained sandy or rocky, to silty loam. The dense, rhizomatous root system makes it a good choice for erosion control. Plants will spread by suckers to form large stands, but do not do so aggressively.The bloom period lasts about a month in mid to late spring. A very cold hardy species. Zones 3-8

Propagation

Fresh seeds will need to be stripped of their flesh before sowing in fall. Stored seeds require a cycle of warm and cold stratification to break dormancy. Plants can also be propagated by hardwood cuttings taken in winter, root division in spring, or softwood cuttings in summer.

Additional Notes

Sambucus racemosa is often grown for its fruit. The berries are astringent, bitter and slightly toxic when eaten raw, however they make delicious preserves, jams and wine.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AZ, CA, CO, CT, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae
Order Dipsacales
Family Caprifoliaceae Honeysuckle family
Genus Sambucus elderberry
Species Sambucus racemosa red elderberry