Elderberry or Sambucus_cerulea

Sambucus cerulea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sambucus cerulea or Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea, with the common names blue elderberry and blue elder, is a coarse textured shrub species of elder in the family Adoxaceae.

Elderberry Sambucus caerulea
Scientific classification:
Kingdom:     Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order:          Dipsacales
Family:        Adoxaceae
Genus:         Sambucus
Species:       S. cerulea
Binomial name:  Sambucus cerulea


Sambucus cerulea is native to the Western United States, northwestern Mexico, and British Columbia. It is found from the Pacific coasts, through California and the Great Basin, to Montana, Wyoming, and Texas.

This species grows at elevations below 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), in diverse habitats of mountains and hills, valleys, riparian zones, open places in woodlands and forests, and exposed slopes where moisture is reachable.


Sambucus cerulea is a large, deciduous shrub, which can grow to be 9 metres (30 ft) in height and 6 metres (20 ft) in width. It is distinguishable from other elderberries by the glaucous powder coating on its bluish-black berries. It normally grows rather wildly from several stems, which can be heavily pruned (or even cut to the ground) during winter dormancy.

The leaves are hairless, strongly pointed and sharp-toothed. They are elliptical to lanceolate, and the blade extends unequally on the stalk at the base. The leaves are commonly 3–15 cm (1–6 in) long and 2–6 cm (1–2.5 in) wide.

The white or creamy coloured flowers, occurring May to June, are numerous and form a flat-topped cluster usually about 5–20 cm (2–8 in) wide. They are umbel-shaped, normally with 4 to 5 rays extending from the base. The flowers have a strong, unpleasant odor. Individual flowers are 4–7 mm wide.

The fruits given are berry-like drupes. They are juicy, round, and approximately 4–6 mm in diameter. They are bluish-black appearing as a pale powdery blue colour. Each fruit contains 3 to 5 small seed-like stones, each enclosing a single seed.


Native American:

The indigenous peoples of North America, with the plant in their homelands, used the leaves, blossoms, bark, roots, and wood for preparing traditional medicinal remedies, taken internally or applied externally.  The fresh, dried, and cooked berries were used for food.

Some tribes used the wood to make musical instruments, such as flutes, clappers, and small whistles; and smoking implements.[7] Soft wood was used as a spindle “twirling stick” to make fire by friction. Stems and berries were used as a dye for basket weaving materials.

The Concow tribe of the Mendocino region called the plant nō-kōm-hē-i′-nē in the Konkow language

Bibliographic details for “Sambucus cerulea”
Page name: Sambucus cerulea
Author: Wikipedia contributors
Publisher: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Date of last revision: 10 September 2016 00:09 UTC
Date retrieved: 10 May 2017 21:22 UTC
Permanent link: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sambucus_cerulea&oldid=738605031
Primary contributors: Revision history statistics
Page Version ID: 738605031