This often treelike shrub grows 2 to 6 meters tall. The stems are soft with a pithy center. Each individual leaf is composed of 5 to 7 leaflike leaflets, each of which is up to 16 centimeters long, lance-shaped to narrowly oval, and irregularly serrated along the edges. The leaflets have a strong disagreeable odor when crushed. The inflorescence is a vaguely cone-shaped panicle of several cymes of flowers blooming from the ends of stem branches. The flower buds are pink when closed, and the open flowers are white, cream, or yellowish. Each flower has small, recurved petals and a star-shaped axis of five white stamens tipped in yellow anthers. The flowers are fragrant and visited by hummingbirds and butterflies. The fruit is a bright red or sometimes purple drupe containing 3 to 5 seeds.
Distribution and habitat
The fruits are popular with birds, who distribute the seeds.
- Sambucus racemosa was originally described and published in Species plantarum 1:270. 1753. GRIN (October 9, 2003). "Sambucus racemosa information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
- Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of North Carolina: Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa var. pubens)
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (XLS) on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- NPIN Database
- Pojar, J. & A. MacKinnon. (1994). Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Lone Pine Publishing. ISBN 1-55105-042-0
- "RHS Plant Selector - Sambucus racemosa 'Sutherland Gold'". Retrieved 2 June 2013.
Media related to Sambucus racemosa at Wikimedia Commons
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