sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea

Sambuca-nigra-subsp. caerulea (syn. Sambucas mexicana).jpg
Sambuca-nigra-subsp. caerulea (syn. Sambucas mexicana)2.jpg

Common Names: blue elderberry, mexican elderberry

syn. Sambucus Mexicana


Family: Adoxaceae

Origin: California

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.