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Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea

Sambucus nigra L. ssp. cerulea (Raf.) R. Bolli

Sambucus caerulea Raf. orth. var.

Sambucus caerulea Raf. var. neomexicana (Woot.) Rehder orth. var.

Sambucus caerulea Raf. var. velutina (Durand & Hilg.) Schwerin orth. var.

Sambucus cerulea Raf.

Sambucus cerulea Raf. var. neomexicana (Woot.) Rehder

Sambucus cerulea Raf. var. velutina (Durand & Hilg.) Schwerin

Sambucus glauca Nutt.

Sambucus mexicana C. Presl ex DC. ssp. caerulea (Raf.) E. Murray orth. var.

Sambucus mexicana C. Presl ex DC. ssp. cerulea (Raf.) E. Murray

Sambucus mexicana C. Presl ex DC. var. caerulea (Raf.) E. Murray orth. var.

Sambucus mexicana C. Presl ex DC. var. cerulea (Raf.) E. Murray

Sambucus neomexicana Woot.

Sambucus neomexicana Woot. var. vestita (Woot. & Standl.) Kearney & Peebles

Sambucus nigra L. ssp. caerulea (Raf.) R. Bolli orth. var.

Sambucus velutina Durand & Hilg.

Blue Elderberry

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderDipsacalesIncludes viburnum, honeysuckle, snowberry, beautybush, twinflower, many others
FamilyAdoxaceaeElders and viburnums
GenusSambucusFrom Greek sambuke, for a musical instrument made from elderwood
Speciesnigra“Black”
ssp.cerulea“Sky-blue, cerulean”

About plant names...

Blue elderberry is still widely known as Sambucus glauca. It is a North American native, first reported by Lewis and Clark.

Identification: This woody shrub reaches heights of 20' (6.1 m), with main branches up to 1½" (3.8 cm) in diameter. Upright branches, composed of soft pithy wood, eventually bend into arches. Leaves are opposite, in clusters of 3-9, up to 8" (20 cm) long, and oval to lance-shaped. Found in a wide variety of woodland habitats and in thickets. Flowers are white or cream-colored, in flat-topped clusters up to 6" (15 cm) around. Berries are spherical, blue-black in color, with a white powdery surface that makes them look lighter. They need full sunlight.

 

Sambucus nigra (Blue Elderberry)

8/29/2007 · Paradise Hill near Upper Klamath Lake, OR

Sambucus nigra (Blue Elderberry)

8/29/2007 · Paradise Hill near Upper Klamath Lake, OR

Sambucus nigra (Blue Elderberry)

8/29/2007 · Paradise Hill near Upper Klamath Lake, OR

Here are some related elderberries:

 
Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis
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Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea

Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa
Common Name

Elderberry

Blue Elderberry

Redberry Elder
Plant Forms a rounded shrub up to 15' (4.6 m) in diameter, consisting of many stems emerging from a central point. This woody shrub reaches heights of 20' (6.1 m), with main branches up to 1½" (3.8 cm) in diameter. Rounded shrub up to 20' (6.1 m) in diameter, consisting of many stems emerging from a central point.
Flowers Tight umbrella-shaped clusters, white or cream-colored, about 3-6" (7.6-15 cm) around. White or cream-colored, in flat-topped clusters up to 6" (15 cm) around. Flowers form tight umbrella-shaped clusters, white with a pink tinge, about 3-5" (7.6-12 cm) around.
Leaves Opposite, in pinnate groups, each 1¾-6" (5-15 cm) long and about ¾-2" (2-6 cm) wide, with sharply serrated edges. Opposite, in clusters of 3-9, up to 8" (20 cm) long, and oval to lance-shaped. Opposite, in pinnate groups, each 1¾-6" (5-15 cm) long and about ¾-2" (2-6 cm) wide, with sharply serrated edges.
Stem Upright stems, composed of soft pithy wood, eventually bend into arches. Upright branches, composed of soft pithy wood, eventually bend into arches. Upright branches, composed of soft pithy wood, eventually bend into arches.
Fruit Berries are shiny and black, in dense, heavy clusters, each up to ¼" (6.3 mm) in diameter. Berries are spherical, blue-black in color, with a white powdery surface that makes them look lighter. Berries are bright red, in large, tight clusters.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 4-10

USDA Zones: 3-9
Habitats   Mixed conifer forests, forest-steppe transitions, open talus slopes, at high elevations  
Type Wild Wild Wild

 

Edibility: Poisonous. Skull & Crossbones Leaves, green fruits and stems are poisonous. However, ripe fruits are edible when cooked, and sometimes made into jelly or wine, but the fruit does not agree with everyone.[1]

Online References:

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea on Google Books

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea on Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea on CalPhotos

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea on Wikipedia

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea on Keir Morse's site, Keirosity.com

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

1There are more details on edibility at Plants for a Future

Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Range: Zones 4-10:

About this map...