Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa): Bundle of 10


Bare root. Sold in bundles of 10.

In stock

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Sold in bundles of 10.

At a Glance: Large deciduous shrub to small tree

Height: Up to 6m tall
Stems: Soft reddish brown twigs with distinct odor
Leaves: Large 5-15cm long serrated compound leaves with 5-7 leaflets
Flowers: Clusters of small white flowers
Fruits: Clusters of bright red berries.

Appeal: Beautiful bright red berries.  Great food source for birds.

Ethnobotany:  Red elderberry was an important food source for many local tribes.  Raw berries can cause nausea, so the berries were boiled and the seeds and stems were discarded.

Helpful Tips: Plant in wet area. Click HERE to determine your recommended planting density.

Caution: The stems, bark, leaves and roots are toxic. They contain cyanide.

Sun/Shade Tolerance Hydrology Elevation Range
 full sun > 80%
 mostly sunny 60%-80%
 partial sun and shade 40%- 60%
 mostly shady 60%-80%
 full shade > 80%


 low elevation
 mid elevation
 high elevation


Soil Preferences
 sandy soils
 gravelly soils
 clay soils
 muddy soils
 peaty soils
 well drained soils
 shallow soils
 deep soils
 acidic soils
 basic soils
 humic soils
 nutrient rich soils
 nutrient poor soils
 mineral soils
 organic soils
Wildlife Value
 Nectar for hummingbirds
 Nectar for butterflies
 Host for insect larvae
 Thickets and shelter
 Thorny or protective cover
Berries are an important food source for wildlife

Livestock Toxicity:  Elderberry fruit is harmless when cooked, but the leaves, stems, bark and roots contain two toxins which are harmful to livestock– cyanogenic glycoside and alkaloids. Signs of toxicity are typically severe gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhea and colic) though severe cyanide poisoning may occur and cause difficulty breathing, convulsions and death.


Pojar, Jim, and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska. Revised ed. Redmond, Wash.: B.C. Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Pub., 2004. Print.

“Sound Native Plants.” Sound Native Plants. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.