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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Sambucus racemosa var. melanocarpa

Sambucus racemosa L. var. melanocarpa (A. Gray) McMinn

Black Elderberry, Red Elder

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Synonym(s): Sambucus melanocarpa


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A small, colony-forming shrub with fragrant clusters of white flowers that produce black berries. Leaves are pinnately compound. Mature height is from 3-6 ft.


From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Native Distribution: N. Rockies; extending less commonly to e. WA, OR, CA, NV & n. AZ
Native Habitat: Moist, mt. woods & stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Rich, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Severe pruning improves form.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sambucus racemosa var. melanocarpa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sambucus racemosa var. melanocarpa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sambucus racemosa var. melanocarpa


Record Modified: 2023-05-30
Research By: TWC Staff

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