Sambucus racemosa, Red-Berried Elderberry

Sambucus racemosa
photos by Dennis Kalma

Scientific Name:
Common Name:
ITIS Number:
NRCS Symbol:
  Sambucus racemosa L. var racemosa
Red-Berried Elderberry
Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckles)

Plant: shrub; to 3 m tall; diameter to 3 cm

Flower: small (3-4 mm), white, 5-lobed; in a cone-shaped cluster with an ovbious main axis; flowers early spring

Fruit: bright red berries, ~ 5 mm in diameter - seldom seen as a favorite food of many birds

Leaves: compound-opposite, 10-25 cm longg; 5-7 leaflets, finely toothed

Twigs: stout with warty lenticils; brownish pith; buds large, purplish; leaf scars large, connected by ridges to opposites; 5-7 bundle scars

Bark: brown

Habitat: rich woods

Range: Newfoundland west to Alaska; south to Oregon; east to Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, and West Virginia; in Appalachians south to Georgia

Similar Species: Sambucus canadensis, Black-Berried Elderberry, is also present in the Boquet watershed. It has flowers and fruit clusters that are more flat-topped and without a main axis; they are also more upright. Its berries are purplish-black when mature and the pith of the twigs is white

Sambucus racemosa
buds, length ~ 15 mm
  Sambucus racemosa
ridge on twig connecting leaf scars
& warty lenticils
  Sambucus racemosa
leaf scar with bundle scars
Sambucus racemosa
brownish pith