red elderberry Caprifoliaceae Sambucus
|Leaf: Opposite, pinnately compound, 6 to 12 inches long, with 5 to 7 lanceolate leaflets, apex pointed and margins serrate, dark green and smooth above and paler below.
Flower: Perfect, tiny white flowers borne in large, upright, dome-shaped clusters; have a strong odor; appearing in late spring to early summer.
Fruit: Small (1/16 to 1/8 inch), usually red, berry-like fruits, borne in upright, dome-shaped clusters; unpalatable when raw (may be TOXIC to some) but edible when cooked.
Twig: Stout, soft, and with a large spongy pith, opposite buds and leaves. New sprouts may grow 10 to 12 feet in a single year.
Bark: Gray to dark reddish brown and covered with raised lenticels.
Form: Grows as an upright large shrub or small tree, commonly 8 to 20 feet tall.
Looks like: American elderberry
- blue elderberry
- Oregon ash
| Additional Range Information:
Sambucus racemosa is native to North America.
Range may be expanded by planting.
See states reporting red elderberry.
| External Links:
USDA Plants Database
|© Copyright 2016, Virginia Tech|
Dept. of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation,
all rights reserved.
Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson