Shrub-Tree- Blue Elderberry

  • Sambucus mexicana photo by Mollivan Jon
    Common Name: Blue Elderberry

    Botanical Name: Sambucus mexicana

    Family: Caprifoliaceae

    Description: Deciduous shrub or tree native from California to British Colombia

    Full sun or part shade: Full sun to light shade

    Water: Drought tolerant but prefers some water in summer months

    Soil: Any soil

    Habit and form: Grows rapidly to 10 to 30 feet tall and 8 to 20 feet wide

    Flower type: White to cream colored flowers in flat-topped clusters

    Sambucus mexicana photo by David Hofmann
    Flower color & bloom season: Spring and summer blooms; blue to black berries follow

    Uses for plant and/or flowers: Birds like the berries; fruit can be made into pies, jams, wine

    Pruning time & method: Prune shrubs hard when dormant to keep dense; train trees to single or multiple trunks when young

    Maintenance tips: Prune each year to maintain shape and form; can be cut to ground

    Comments: Effective as screen or windbreak