Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Elderberry - Sambucus

A genus of 25 species of trees and shrubs known for their pinnate leaves that appear early in spring and their clusters of flowers that are followed by attractive glossy berries. The bark on most Elderberries is smooth and beige. The pith of the twigs is spongy and large.
The berries of many of the Elderberries taste like a blend of Grapes and Blackberry.
A single plant may bear 20 or more pounds of fruit in a single year, mostly being borne on 2nd year wood. Elderberries produce fruit on second year wood. They are high in Vitamin C and also contain substances that help detoxify the body and possibly slow age related eye degeneration..
The berries of many species can be eaten fresh, use in pie, or used to make wine, juices and sodas. Using bird netting is recommended if you are growing Elderberry for their fruits and not just the attractive foliage. Birds will tend to flock to Elderberries and pick them clean. Generally the blue and black Elderberries are the best for eating, some of the red berry ones are purgatives and should not be eaten.
Elderberries can very in taste however especially with Sambucus nigra, there are cultivars or clones selected especially for having excellent fruit.
The fruit are fastest and most efficiently harvested by cutting off the entire clusters, taking them home and stripping the berries off ( using a fork may speed things up ).
Extract from Elderberry has been found to inhibit replication of the flu virus thus decreasing severity and duration of the flu. The fruits of the Elderberry are richer in Vitamin C than oranges. Elderberry plants are also good for re-greening and stabilizing old tired land such as strip mines.
All species of Elderberry can be renovated by cutting to near ground level during early spring. Vigorous shoots will soon follow.
Most Elderberries thrive in full sun to partial shade on just about any fertile, moist soil. The Elderberries are very clay / wet soil tolerant and will thrive on both acidic or alkaline soils. They are easy to propagate from semi-ripe or hardwood cuttings of 1 to 1.5 feet ( make sure there are at least several buds ), detached suckers, layering or seed.

* photo of unknown internet source

The flowers are edible too, the entire flowerheads may be cut off, dipped in batter and deep fried.
They are easy to grow on any moderately moist, fertile soil. Most are tolerant of flooding. Most Elderberries prefer full sun though will tolerate partial shade though bearing less fruit. Insect pests or disease rarely bother Elderberries.
Pruning isn't required, but they can be easily shaped. If a severe winter freezes an Elderberry back to the ground, just cut it off at the base and watch it reach up to the sky come spring. Very old plants that are overgrown can be cut back to a low stump in early March; they will regrow vigorously.
Propagation is from seed for the species, hardwood cuttings in winter or softwood cuttings in summer for the cultivars. Cuttings 1 to 1.5 feet in length with several buds work best to propagation. Detaching suckers and layering are other methods of reproduction.
PHARMACOLOGY: Elderberry extract reduces severity and duration of the flu - it boosts the immune system and inhibits virus replication.
A sugar ( 3-rhamnoglaucoside ) in the fruits is so beneficial to the eyes, that is may even slow the onset of age related macular degenerative diseases. It also detoxified the body and benefits the brain.
OTHER USED: Reclaimation of mined and burnt over land. The Elderberries will grow fast to control erosion, feed and provide cover for wildlife and provide shade and shelter for seedling Oak, Hickory and other prime trees.

Sambucus callicarpa ( Pacific Red Elderberry )
A fast growing, deciduous large shrub to small tree, reaching around 20 feet, that is native to moist woods in western North America ( from most of the Alaskan coast to coastal British Columbia, south to northern California ). Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; largest on record - 40 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet.
The pinnate leaves, are composed of 5 to 7 tooothed, lance-shaped leaflets, up to 6.5 inches in length.
The creamy-white flowers are borne in clusters, up to 4 inches across, during late spring.
They are followed by scarlet-red berries, up to 0.25 inches wide, during mid-summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 in partial to full shade ( tolerates sun in cool summer regions ) on moist to wet soil. Reported to thrive in the British Isles.

* historical archive photo

* photos taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos

* photo taken by http://www.nwplants.com


Sambucus canadensis ( American Elder )
A deciduous suckering large shrub to small tree, reaching around 20 feet, that is native to marshes, swamps and moist open woodlands in eastern North America ( from northeast North Dakota and far southeast Manitoba to Duluth, Minnesota to Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Thessalon, Ontario to Sudbury, Ontario to Mattawa, Ontario to southeast Quebec to New Brunswick to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia; south to eastern Texas to southern Florida ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was common along the Canard River Valley, around Point Pelee, the Lake Erie islands and the Ohio shore during the 1800s. It was also common at Detroit, Michigan during that time. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 10 feet; 7 years - 8 x 11 feet ( average ); 10 years - 13 x 13 feet; largest on record - 26 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.8 foot.
The pinnate leaves, up to 10 inches in length, are composed of 7 to 11 toothed, elliptical leaflets, up to 6 x 2.2 inches in size. The foliage is bright green, turning to glossy deep green above, paler green beneath. The foliage turns to yellow in autumn.
The creamy-white flowers are borne in clusters, up to 12 inches across, during early summer. The flowers have high nectar value for wildlife.
They are followed by clusters of tiny, sweet, juicy, purplish-black berries, up to 0.5 inches each, during late summer into early autumn.
Hardy zones 2 to 9, in Alberta and Saskatchewan it may be cut back by severe winters and thus be seen as a perennial. Very tolerant of wet sites.

* photo taken on August 1 2010 @ Lasalle, Ontario


* photos taken on Aug 4 2013 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photos taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD

* photo taken on July 27 2015 in Bayfield, ON

* photos taken on July 16 2016 in Bayfield, ON

* photos taken on Aug 13 2016 in Reisterstown, MD

* photo taken on Jul 17 2017 in Gatineau, Quebec

* photo taken on Jul 17 2017 in Ottawa, ON


'Acutiloba'
The deeply divided foliage is lacy in appearance.

'Adams'
The prolific fruits are borne in large clusters.
Pest and disease free and easy to grow.
Hardy zones 4 to 9. It is considered the best Elderberry for fruit production in Newfoundland.

* photo taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.


'Argenteo Marginata'
Foliage is edged in silvery-white.

'Aurea'
A very attractive large shrub to small tree, reacing up to 15 x 21 feet with golden-yellow spring foliage that matures to lime-green. The leaves are larger then average, sometimes reaching up to 18 inches in length and often with 11 leaflets of more.
The clusters of white flowers, up to 12 inches wide, are followed by berries that are red turning to black.

* photos taken on May 16 2010 @ Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD




* photos taken on Jul 19 2017 @ Rideau Hall, Ottawa, ON


'Chlorocarpa'
Foliage is bright green. The fruits are bright green as well.

'Goldfinch'
The deeply toothed to incised foliage is reddish at first, turning to bright green.

'Hidden Spring'
Fruits in large clusters. Great where summers are hot.

'Maxima'
The "American Elderberry on Steroids" with huge leaves, up to 2 feet in length, composed of up to 11 leaflets.
The flower and fruit clusters are also gigantic, up to 18 inches across.
It is sometimes cut to the ground each winter to be grown as a massive focal point, "tropical looking" foliage perennial. Otherwise, it becomes a small tree.

* photos taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON

* photo taken on Jul 19 2017 @ Major's Hill Park, Ottawa, ON


'Rubra'
Bright red fruit.

var 'Simpsonii'
Also called Sambucus simpsonii. A subspecies that occupies the Florida portion of Sambucus canadensis. It is almost identical to species but has been given separate species status in the past.

'York'
Abundant, very large berries borne on very large clusters; otherwise identical to species.

Sambucus cerulea ( Blue Elderberry )
A vigorous deciduous small tree, reaching around 30 feet, that is native to western North America ( from Vancouver Island to Penticton, British Columbia to central Montana; south to southern California to southwest Texas ). Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 12 feet; 1st year - 6 feet; 3 years - 20 feet; 50 years - trunk diameter of 2.4 feet; largest on record - 60 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.3 feet.
The pinnate leaves, up to 10 inches in length, are composed of 5 to 9 toothed leaflets, up to 6 x 2 inches in size. The foliage is blue-green.
The creamy-white flowers are borne on large, flat clusters, up to 6 inches across, during early summer.
They are followed by dark blue berries up to 0.4 inches wide. They typically ripen mid to late summer. The berries should be cooked and eaten like raisons as they are too bitter to be eaten raw. They are also great for use in jellies and making wine.
The scaly bark is light red-brown.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 ( possibly hardier for Montana seed source ). Moderately heat tolerant.

* photo taken by C.A. Kupfer @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by Charles A. Wellner @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by C. Ray Clar and the Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library, Univ. of California

* photos taken by http://www.nwplants.com


Sambucus ebulis
A very fast rhizome-spreading, upright, herbaceous perennial reaching up to 6.5 x 6 + feet. It is a widespread native of temperate Europe and western Asia.
The pinnate leaves are composed of 5 to 9 long pointed lance-shaped leaflets. The attractive foliage is mid-green.
The white flowers are borne in flat topped clusters during mid summer.
They are followed by black berries.
The stems are reddish.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on just about any well drained soil including heavy clay. Propagation is from seed or division while dormant.

* photos taken on May 16 2010 @ Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD


Sambucus javanica chinensis ( Javan Elderberry )
A deciduous large shrub reaching up to 10 feet, that is native from northern India through most of central & eastern China, Japan, southeast Asia and the Phillipines.
The pinnate leaves are composed of up to 12 toothed, narrowly-ovate leaflets, up to 8 inches in length. The foliage is glossy bright green.
The white flowers are borne in huge clusters, up to 20 inches across, during late spring.
They are followed by clusters of red or black berries, up to 0.2 inches wide, during late summer to early autumn. One variety is reported to have orange fruit.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

Sambucus melanocarpa ( Blackbead Elderberry )
A deciduous large shrub to small tree, reaching around 20 feet, that is native to the Rocky Mountains ( from central British Columbia to southern Alberta and central Montana; south to northern Arizona and New Mexico ). Some records include: largest on record - 42 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot.
The pinnate leaves, up to 9 inches in length, are composed of 5 to 7 coarsely-toothed, elliptical leaflets, up to 5 x 2 inches in size. The hairy foliage is luxuriant mid-green.
The creamy-white flowers are borne in conical panicles, up to 3.2 inches tall, during late spring
They are followed by glossy black berries during early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 ( hardiest seed source likely 3 or colder )

* historic archive photo


Sambucus mexicana ( Mexican Elderberry )
An impressive, very fast growing, dense, semi-evergreen, large shrub to small tree, reaching around 20 feet, that is native to Mexico. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 12 feet; largest on record - 50 x 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.5 feet.
The pinnate leaves, up to 10 inches long, are composed of 5 to 9 toothed, elliptical leaflets, up to 6 x 1.5 ( usually less ) inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep green above, very pale beneath. The Mexican Elderberry's foliage generally persists very late in autumn and appears very early in spring so that the tree is only barren of foliage for a very short time.
The abundant white flowers are borne in broad flat-topped clusters, up to 8 inches wide, during late spring.
They are followed by clusters of very large, blue-black berries that resemble grapes. The berries are great for making into wine and jelly.
Hardy zones 7 to 11 tolerating as low as -10 F though possibly with some winter dieback ( will resprout ). It is tolerant of extreme drought once fully established and its deep roots penetrate the earth.

* historical archive photo


Sambucus nigra ( European Black Elderberry )
A deciduous, suckering, dense, bushy, large shrub to small tree, reaching around 20 feet, that is native from Europe to western Asia, south into far northern Africa. Some records include: 5 years - 13 feet; 20 years - 30 x 30 feet; largest on record - 53 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 3 feet. Moderately long-lived, coppiced trees are known to exceed 100 years of age.
The pinnate leaves, up to 13 inches in length, are composed of 5 to 7 ( rarely 3 or 9 ) toothed, oval leaflets, up to 5 x 2.5 inches in size. The foliage is deep green.
The fragrant, small white flowers, up to 0.2 inches wide, are borne in large, flat clusters, up to 18 ( rarely over 10 ) inches across, during late spring to early summer.
They are followed by clusters of purpish-black, rounded berries during late summer into early autumn.
The fruit is used for juices, wines, jam, pies and preserves.
The corky and deeply-furrowed bark is light gray.
Hardy zones 2 to 8, the hardiest seed source will grow on the northern Great Plains but is often shorter in stature due to occasional freezing back during severe winters. Easy to grow and even tolerates deep shade and chalky soils.
It may self seed due to birds dropping the seeds after eating the berries.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on Apr 7 2015 in Towson, MD

* historic archive photos


'Aurea' ( Golden Elder )
Golden-yellow foliage; otherwise identical to species.


* photos taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON

* photos taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON


'Aureomarginata'
Luxuriant green broad foliage is boldly margined in yellow. The foliage contrasts well with the black berries.
Fast growing, it can reach the same size as the species.

'Black Beauty'
Very attractive, large, glossy purplish-black leaves, up to 16 inches in length. The flower clusters, up to 10 inches wide, are darker pink than S. nigra 'Guincho Purple'. The flowers are followed by black berries.
Typically reaches around 10 x 10 feet in 5 years, though may be much larger on ideal sites and without pruning may even become a tree maturity. Some records include: 3 years - 10 feet; 5 years - 13 x 13 feet; 10 years - 17 x 17 feet.

* photos taken on Aug 1 2013 in Stratford, Ontario

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario


'Black Lace'
A very attractive, very fast growing large shrub, averaging 8 x 10 feet in 5 years, eventually up to 13 x 13 feet ( larger may be possible ). In the northern Midwest it is often used as a substitute for Japanese Maple. It may also be cut back to near ground level during late winter to be used as a stunning foliage perennial. Grown as a cut back shrub, it may reach up to 8 feet by the end of the following summer.<
The very deeply cut, lacy foliage that is reddish-purple turning to glossy blackish-purple.
The pinkish-white flowers are borne on clusters, up to 10 inches wide, during early summer.

* photos taken in Columbia, MD







* photo taken on June 10 2010 in Columbia, MD




* photo taken on May 17 2012 in Columbia, MD
* photos taken on May 27 2012 in Columbia, MD
* photos taken on June 3 2012 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on July 25 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 30 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 24 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* photos taken on June 29 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 16 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Apr 27 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 8 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 17 2017 in Annapolis, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photos taken on July 25 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Black Magic'

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Black Tower'
Extremely dark purple to almost pure black broad foliage that looks great used with golden foliages smaller plants or white or blue flowers.

'Bradet'
A clone originating in eastern Europe bearing heavy crops of large fruit.

'Dolomite'
Very attractive pinnate leaves composed of very broad bright green leaflets with very bold bright yellow venation variegation.

'Donau'
A selection originating in Austria that bears heavy crops of fruit and is used in commerical orchards.

'Frances'
Has very attractive bright green pinnate leaves composed of broad leaflets that are heavily splashed creamy-white and yellow.

'Franzi'
A heavy fruiting selection of Austrian origin that is great for use in commercial orchards.

'Godshill'
Larger than average fruit.

'Guincho Purple'
Very vigorous, reaching an average of 15 x 15 feet in 10 years, eventually about the same size as Sambucus nigra at maturity.
The very attractive large foliage is deep green at first, quickly turning to purple-black during summer. The leaves turn to red during autumn.
The flowers are pale pink.
It is sometimes cut back during late winter and used as a massive foliage perennial.

'Haschberg'
Originates from Haschberg Mountains in Austria. Fruits heavily and is an excellent selection for commercial orchards.

'Ina'
Originating from eastern Europe with very high yields of large fruit.

'Korsor'
Large deep blue fruit.

'Laciniata' ( Parsley-Leaved Elderberry )
Deeply cut, lacy, medium-green foliage. It may eventually become a small tree. Some records include: 5 years - 13 x 13 feet; largest on record - 27 feet with a trunk diameter of 10 inches.

* photos taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON


'Madonna'
Luxuriant green broad foliage is boldly-margined in creamy-white. The foliage contrasts well with the black berries.
Fast growing, it can reach the same size as the species.

* photos taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON


'Marginata'
Leaves composed of broad leaflets variegated with a bold broad creamy-yellow edge.
Very fast growing, even reaching up to 13 feet in 5 years, even 6 x 5 feet in 5 years in Alberta where some winter dieback may occur.

'Norfolk Speckled'
Spectacular foliage that is mid green and heavily variegated white with a white midrib. Stems are also white.

'Pulverulenta'
A compact shrub reaching up to 10 x 8 feet, however it is often cut back to near ground level in winter and used as a bold foliage perennial.
The very attractive foliage is heavily speckled white.
Easy to grow in sun or partial shade.

'Pyramidalis'
Columnar in habit, reaching up to 10 feet in height.
The foliage is deep green.
Flower clusters are white.
Very tough and easy to grow.
Excellent where a narrow screen is needed.

'Robert Piggin'
Very attractive foliage that is mid-green heavily splashed with white.

'Sambu'
Foliage is grayish. The profuse medium size berries are borne in medium sized clusters.

'Samdal'
Very high yields of large berries borne in large clusters.

'Samidan'
A compact shrub bearing very high yields of large fruits in very large clusters.

'Samnor'
Vigorous and heavy fruiting.

'Sampo'
Very high yields of great tasting fruit.

'Samyl'
Flowers later than average. Vigorous in habit with heavy yields of fruit.

'Thundercloud'
Vigorous growing with large glossy foliage that is reddish-black turning to purple. Flowers are pinkish-red.

Sambucus pubens ( American Red Elderberry )
A large shrub to small tree that is native to upland woods and ravines in northern North America ( from Bethel, Alaska to Fairbanks, Alaska to Skagway, Alaska to Mackenzie, British Columbia to Churchill, Manitoba to Lansdowne House, Ontario to Moosonee, Ontario to central Quebec to Newfoundland; south to California to New Mexico to central Saskatchewan to far northeast South Dakota to northern Illinois and northern Indiana to most of Pennsylvania...also in the Appalachian Mountains as far south as extreme northern Georgia ). It is endangered in Saskatchewan. In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was only known from the Ohio shore, Detroit, Michigan and nearby Kent County where it was rare during the 1800s. Some records include: largest on record - 30 x 27 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 foot.
The pinnate leaves, up to 12 inches in length, are composed of 5 or 7 toothed, ovate leaflets, up to 7 x 2.5 inches in size. The foliage is finely hairy when young, turning to deep green. The leaves turn to bright yellow during autumn.
The fragrant, yellowish-white flowers are borne in loose clusters, up to 5 inches across, during early summer.
They are followed by scarlet-red berries during mid-summer. The fruits on this Elderberry must be cooked before eating.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 in full sun to partial shade ( partial shade south of zone 5 ) on moist, humus-rich soil. Pollution and moderately drought tolerant.

* photos taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON

* photos taken on Jul 19 2017 @ Major's Hill Park, Ottawa, ON

* historical archive photos


Sambucus racemosa ( European Red Elderberry )
A large shrub to small tree that is a widespread native to Eurasia from the British Isles to central Russia. Some records include: largest on record - 36 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet.
The pinnate leaves, up to 9 inches in length, are composed of 5 to 7 coarsely toothed, elliptical leaflets, up to 5 x 2 inches in size. The foliage is luxuriant mid-green.
The creamy-white flowers are borne in dense, conical panicles, up to 3.2 inches tall, during late spring
They are followed by small scarlet-red berries, up to 0.2 inches wide, borne in large clusters during early to mid summer.
Hardy zones 3 to 7. Tolerant of occasional drought but not extremely hot summers.

* photos taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON

* photos taken on Jul 19 2017 @ Major's Hill Park, Ottawa, ON


'Aurea'
Bright yellow foliage.

'Laciniata'
Deeply cut foliage

'Plumosa Aurea'
A very attractive large shrub with deeply cut foliage that is bronze at first, turning to glowing bright golden-yellow. Some records include: 6 years - 6.5 x 7.5 feet; largest on record - 17 x 17 feet.
Prefers partial shade and is very tolerant of tough conditions, even thriving in Alberta.

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Sutherland Gold'
A very attractive form, reaching up to 12 x 10 feet in 5 years, eventually slightly larger. Superior to S. racemosa 'Plumosa Aurea' and the foliage is more tolerant of full sun. It can be mixed with some of the non-cutleaf purple foliaged forms for contrast.
The deeply-cut foliage is coppery-red at first, turning to glowing golden-yellow. The leaves often turn to red during autumn.
The clusters of red berries during summer provide excellent contrast to the foliage.

* photo from havlis.cz nursery


'Tenuifolia'
A dwarf mounding form, reaching up to 4 x 4 feet, with finely cut, lacy foliage that is purple at first, later turning to green.

Sambucus sibirica ( Siberian Elderberry )
Also called S. racemosa Linnaeus subsp. sibirica. Similar to Sambucus racemosa but is native to eastern Russia, northwest Mongolia and Manchuria. Growing at up to 4 feet per year reaching a size of 12 x 13 feet in 10 years, eventually up to a maximum height of 20 feet.
The pinnate leaves, up to 9 inches in length, are composed of 5 to 7 leaflets up to 8 inches in length. The foliage emerges early in spring.
The creamy-white flowers are borne in dense, conical panicles, up to 3.2 inches tall, during late spring
They are followed by small scarlet-red berries, up to 0.2 inches wide, borne in large clusters during early to mid summer.
Hardy zone 2 to 7

Sambucus sieboldii ( Japanese Red Elderberry )
Also called Sambucus williamsii & S. racemosa subsp. manshurica. A deciduous large shrub to small tree, reaching a maximum height of 20 feet, that is native to northeast Asia ( from central & eastern Mongolia and Manchuria, southwest to central China, Korea & Japan ).
The leaves, up to 12 inches in length, are composed of 5 to 11 toothed, ovate or elliptical leaflets, up to 8 x 3 inches in size. The foliage is glossy bright green.
The creamy-white flowers, up to 0.2 inches wide, are borne on dense, large, domed clusters, up to 4.5 x 5.5 inches in size, during late spring.
They are followed by bright scarlet-red berries, up to 0.2 inches wide, during early to mid autumn. Toxicity of berries is unknown.
The bark is usually reddish-brown with reddish brown with lenticels. On very old trees, the bark becomes corky and brownish-gray.
Hardy zones 2 to 7 ( seed source from Mongolia is preferrable for the northern Great Plains and central Alaska ).

Sambucus tigranii ( Caucasus Red Elder )
Highly decorative, reaching up to 8 x 10 + feet in 10 years, that is native from southeastern Europe to Armenia. It may only be a regional subspecies of Sambucus racemosa.
The small yellowish-green flowers are borne in clusters mid to late spring.
Clusters of bright red berries follow in late summer to early fall.

Sambucus velutina ( Velvet Elderberry )
A deciduous large shrub to small tree, reaching around 20 feet, that is native to central California to central Arizona; south to the border with Baja and near Yuma. Some records include: largest on record - 33 feet.
The pinnate leaves, up to 7 inches in length, are composed of toothed, elliptical leaflets, up to 6 x 2 inches in size. The hairy foliage is luxuriant mid green.
The yellow flowers are borne in clusters, up to 6 inches wide, during early summer
They are followed by clusters of deep blue to black berries.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 ( est ) preferring a mediterranean climate.

2 comments:

  1. I bought Samyl and samdal elderberry shoots this spring. I have never had a problem growing elderberry. These continue to die - they are in a bed with correct ph and were not too wet or too dry for elderberries. Is there something different about the needs of these two types?

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    Replies
    1. I'm trying to find out if people in my area have succeeded with these 2 cvs. I'm going to an Elderberry workshop on Monday (Feb 15, 2016) at U of VT. Phone me if you feel like it (802-429-2153)

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