Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Sambucus racemosa

Red elderberry

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Sambucus racemosa (Red elderberry)
Lytle, Melody
Grows as an upright large shrub or small tree.

Image Gallery:

13 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Tree
Size Notes: 8-20 feet tall.
Size Class: 6-12 ft. , 12-36 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun


USA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , CT , GA , ID , IL , IN , IA , KY , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MO , MT , NV , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OR , PA , RI , SD , TN , UT , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , NB , NL , NS , ON , PE
Native Habitat: Woodland,Savannah,Wet Meadow/Prairie/Field,Riparian

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet , Moist


Use Wildlife: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Use Food: Although the berries are reputedly poisonous, they were very popular with the Gitxsan and were steamed or boiled into a kind of jam or cooked and served with oolichan grease. They were also mixed with black huckleberries in berry cakes and these were prized delicacies at feasts. The bark and roots were boiled and the infusion was drunk as an emetic or purgative.
Warning: CAUTION: The stems, roots and foliage are poisonous or toxic. (Traditional Plant Use) Could cause nausea if eaten raw. (Joanna Clark)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Hummingbirds

Last Update: 2016-09-23