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Blue Elderberry
Sambucus mexicana
  
About Blue Elderberry (Sambucus mexicana) 78 Nurseries Carry This Plant Attractive, hardy, and easy to grow, the Blue Elderberry is also an important food source for California wildlife. In spring, large clusters of cream-colored flowers attract butterflies and bees. The abundant blue berries provide food for birds and other animals. Humans can eat the fruit as long as it?s cooked.

This fast-growing shrub is tolerant of a variety of growing conditions, although it does best in sun and well-drained moist, rich soil. It can grow to the size of a small tree, up to 30 feet tall but is easily shaped with pruning.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin. (n.d.). Www.wildflower.org. Retrieved October 18, 2023, from https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=SANIC5 ‌
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub, Tree

Size
Size
20 - 30 ft tall
20 - 30 ft wide

Form
Form
Fountain

Growth Rate
Growth Rate
Fast

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Fragrance
Fragrance
None

Flower Color
Flower Color
Cream, Yellow, Purple

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Wildlife Supported
 
Many bird species. Elderberries are one of the most important source of food for birds in California.

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Shade, Part Shade, Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Low

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils but prefers well-drained soils with moisture. Soil PH: 6.0 - 7.0

Common uses
Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Maintenance
Maintenance
Accepts pruning readily .

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Streambanks, slope bottoms, canyons, slightly moister places throughout the state. It occurs in conjunction with a variety of vegetation types including chaparral, sage scrub, grassland, and wetland-riparian.

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 4.7" - 153.6", Summer Precipitation: 0.15" - 5.67", Coldest Month: 24.3" - 57.2", Hottest Month: 47.0" - 80.8", Humidity: 0.01" - 31.90", Elevation: -221" - 10519"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea
Common Names: Common Elderberry, Mexican Elderberry


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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