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Scarlet Elderberry Sambucus racemosa subsp. pubens

Previously known as:

  • Sambucus pubens
  • Sambucus racemosa var. pubens
Phonetic Spelling
sam-BYOO-kus ray-see-MO-suh PEW-benz
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Red Elderberry is a deciduous, native shrub found in spruce-fir and northern hardwood forests and rocky environments at high elevations in the mountains, though sometimes descending in our area (mainly in VA and northward) to elevations as low as 75 m.  It has an upright, vase-shaped form.  As for wildlife, it attracts birds and wildlife with its berries and butterflies and other insects with its flowers. It can be weedy, spreading by root suckers that can use pruning in the late winter to keep localized; otherwise, it will naturalize and continue to spread.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Dissecta'
'Dissecta'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#deciduous#vigorous#wildlife plant#weedy#small mammals#food source#native garden#edible fruits#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#edible#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source soft-mast fruit#fruits#bird friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Dissecta'
'Dissecta'
Tags:
#bees#fragrant#hummingbirds#deciduous#vigorous#wildlife plant#weedy#small mammals#food source#native garden#edible fruits#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#edible#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#food source soft-mast fruit#fruits#bird friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sambucus
    Species:
    racemosa
    Family:
    Viburnaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    USA, North Carolina, native to Europe and Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruit attracts birds and wildlife, flowers attract butterflies and other insects.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heat, drought, and soil compaction tolerant.
    Edibility:
    Edible, but very tart; usually cooked
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Red fruits display from June to August. They have a tart flavor.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Dome
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Creamy white elongated panicle of flowers bloom from April to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Pinnatifid
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Lustrous dark green, compound with 5 to 7 leaflets, toothed on the margin.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Soft wood and a large, brown pith.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Hummingbirds
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Causes low toxicity if eaten.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Cyanogenic glycoside and alkaloid
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems