Red Elderberry


Red Elderberry

  • Scientific name: Sambucus racemosa

Quantity is per pound. Example: 1 = 1 lb, 2 = 2 lbs, 3 = 3lbs, etc. This is pure seed, not a live plant.


Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) thrives in Riparian Zones, on north aspects and transition zones. It is a large deciduous shrub or small tree of the Honeysuckle family that grows 10-20 ft tall with a broad arching form. In the Great Basin province it generally occurs at higher elevations (up to 9,500′) than Blue Elderberry. It can, however, inhabits streambanks, ravines, swamps, moist forest clearings and higher ground near wetlands from sea level to 9500 ft in elevation. It is shade tolerant but prefers a sunny exposure. It is found on a wide variety of soils but favors deeper, loamy sands and silts and nutrient rich sites with good drainage, ample moisture and a pH of 5.0 to 8.0. It is widespread throughout its range and is occasionally dominant or co-dominant in moist areas.

The dense roots and rhizomes of red elderberry, Sambucus racemosa make it useful for soil stabilization and erosion control on moist sites including streambanks. It provides fair to good food and cover for birds plus small and large mammals. Hummingbirds collect nectar from the flowers. The fruit is high in ascorbic acid. Stems, bark, leaves and roots contain cyanide-producing toxins but berries may be consumed as jelly or wine after cooking. This versatile plant can also be used to make dye, insecticide, medicine, and musical instruments. The colorful fruit attracts birds and several cultivars have been developed for ornamental applications.

Quick Plant Facts
Common Name:

Scarlet Elder, Stinking Elderberry

Scientific Name:


Native or Introduced:

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Seeds per lb.

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Min. Precipitation

18 Inches Minimum

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Sun & Shade Tolerance:

Part Shade, Full Sun

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Zone Map