blue elderberry Caprifoliaceae Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea
Leaf:Opposite, pinnately compound, deciduous, 6 to 12 inches long, with 5 to 9 lanceolate leaflets, apex pointed and margins serrate, dark green and smooth above and paler below.
Flower:Perfect, tiny white flowers borne in large, upright, flat-topped clusters, appearing in early summer.
Fruit:Small (1/16 to 1/8 inch), dark blue berry-like fruits covered with a white bloom, borne in upright, flat-topped clusters. Not listed as being toxic to humans when eaten raw, but why take a chance when red elder is toxic?
Twig:Stout, soft, and with a large spongy pith; covered with a waxy bloom; opposite buds and leaves. New sprouts may grow 10 to 12 feet in a single year.
Bark:Grayish brown to black and covered with raised lenticels.
Form:Grows as a large upright shrub or small tree, commonly to 20 feet or more.