Blue-berry elder

Silhouette - blue-berry elder
  • Latin name: Sambucus cerulea Raf.
  • French name: Sureau bleu
  • Synonym(s): Blue elderberry , blue elder
  • Taxonomic Serial Number: 35320
    520960 - [syn. S. cerulea Raf.] 525080 - [S. nigra ssp. cerulea (Raf.) R. Bolli]
  • NA3 , C3
Description

Leaves

  • Leaf with details of sharp teeth (above) and grooved stalk (below) - blue-berry elder

Form

  • Pinnately compound
  • 5–9 leaflets on a grooved central stalk
  • Leaflets lance-shaped, with long, slender, sharp tip
  • Occasionally subdivided
  • Leaves have unpleasant odour when crushed
  • Lower surface hairless  

Length

  • Leaflets 5–15 cm
  • Leaf and central stalk 6–12 cm

Colour

  • Upper surface bluish-green
  • Lower surface paler   

Margin

  • Coarsely and sharply toothed

Buds

  • Lateral bud and leaf scar - blue-berry elder

Form

  • Terminal bud absent
  • Lateral buds large with 2 or 3 pairs of scales
  • Leaf scars large, triangular, with 5–7 vein scars  

Length

  • 10–20 mm

Colour

  • Greenish or brownish

Twigs

Form

  • Very stout
  • Often ridged

Colour

  • Light green to brownish
  • Pith white

Flowers

Form

  • In flat-topped, 5-branched clusters (cymes)

Width

  • 7–15 cm

Colour

  • Creamy white

Structure

  • Synoecious

Floral timing

  • Summer, after the leaves are fully grown

Fruits

  • Fruit cluster - blue-berry elder

Form

  • Thin-fleshed
  • Juicy, sweet
  • 3–seeded
  • Ripen in early autumn 

Width

  • 3–5 mm

Colour

  • Bluish-black

Structure

  • Drupe

Bark

Form

  • Thin, with narrow intersecting scaly ridges and warty lenticels

Colour

  • Light brown, often reddish

Size

Form

  • Shrubs or very small trees

Height

  • To 10 m

Diameter

  • 20 cm

Habitat

Site

  • In forest clearings
  • Usually dry open sites with gravelly or stony soils

Range

Southern British Columbia

Distribution map
Distribution map - blue-berry elder
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