sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea
Common Names: blue elderberry, mexican elderberry
syn. Sambucus Mexicana
Type: Deciduous shrub or tree
Size: 10-30 ft. high; 8-20 ft. wide.
Flowers: White/creamy flowers in 2-8 in. clusters, spring, summer; blue to black berries in clusters after flowers; medium green elliptical leaves.
Uses: Shape and color accent, large screens, windbreaks- tends to look a bit wild. Used for revegetation in natural areas.
Wildlife: Habitat, fruit, nectar, and pollen. Butterflies, hummingbirds like.
Soil: Tolerates a variety of soils. Those that establish in deeper soils get larger and have more flowers.
Water: Low water in summer will help it keep its leaves longer.
Sun: Full sun to some shade.
Pruning: Prune hard in dormant season to keep in check; prune out old stems and suckers and cut back last season’s growth. Cut old plants to ground.
Pests & Diseases: No pests or diseases of major concern.
Notes: Native to many California plant communities, including riparian, coastal sage scrub, oak woodland, and chaparral. Roots, leaves, bark, and stems can cause poisoning. Hardy to 0° F.