Image for Red Elderberry

Red Elderberry

Scientific name

Sambucus racemosa


The Red Elderberry is a deciduous shrub species that can grow up to 3 m tall. The leaves are oppositely arranged, green, pinnately compound, with 5-7 leaflets, lance shaped, and have toothed margins. The flowers are tiny, white coloured, grow in clusters, are fragrant, and appear in June. The fruits are dark red berries that grow in clusters, appear in late summer to fall, and are edible for humans. The fruit and flowers of Red Elderberry are beneficial to many wildlife species, like birds and mammals, as well as pollinator species, like bees and butterflies.

Planting conditions

Red Elderberry grows best in moist to wet conditions with full to partial sun exposure. It prefers humus or loamy, nutrient rich soil with normal pH levels but can tolerate a range of soil types. Red Elderberry is flood tolerant and has moderate tolerance to drought once established. This plant naturally grows along stream and lake shorelines, wet forests and forest edges, in wet meadows and fields, or in wet roadside ditches.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 3m
    • Any
  • Moisture level:
    • Normal
    • Moist
    • Wet
    • Drought Tolerant
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Humus
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
  • Eco Zone:
    • 2a
    • 2b
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
  • Plant type:
    • Shrub
  • Height:
    • 3 m
  • Spread:
    • 2 m