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Blue Elderberry

Scientific name

Sambucus cerulea


Blue Elderberry is a deciduous shrub species that typically grows between 6 and 9 m in height. The leaves are oppositely arranged, bright green colored, pinnately compound with 5-7 leaflets, and have coarsely serrated margins. The flowers are creamy white colored, have five lobes, appear in flat-topped clusters, and bloom between May and June. The fruits are small, grayish blue to dark blue colored, appear in large clusters, are edible to humans, and ripen between July and August. The flowers are beneficial to pollinator species, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The fruits are beneficial to wildlife species, such as birds and small mammals. The roots are good for controlling erosion and stabilizing shorelines. This plant has often been chosen for stream bank re-vegetation projects. Propagates easily from cuttings.

Planting conditions

Blue Elderberry grows best in normal to moist conditions with full sun exposure. It prefers rich, well-drained loam soil types. It is tolerant of steep slopes, and periodic flooding. This plant can be naturally found in moist meadows, around marshes and swamps, in roadside ditches, and along stream or lake shorelines.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Normal
    • Moist
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Loamy
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
    • 8a
    • 8b
  • Plant type:
    • Shrub
  • Height:
    • 6-9 m
  • Spread:
    • 2 m