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Tree Browser

With these characteristics: None

Sambucus cerulea

Elder, Blue

Caprifoliaceae - Honeysuckle

Description

Leaves: Opposite; once pinnately compound; 4" to 7" long; deciduous; 5 to 9 leaflets with short stalks, coarsely serrate margins, narrow and ovate to oblong, 1" to 6" long, green and glabrous on top, lighter and glabrous or pubescent beneath.

Twigs/buds: Twigs stout; somewhat angled or ridged; brownish-red; large, triangular leaf scars that nearly circle stem; pith large and soft.  No terminal bud; lateral buds green, scaly.

Flowers/fruit: Flowers perfect; small; yellow-white; in large, showy, flat-topped clusters at the ends of the branches; appear in June or July.  Fruit a berry-like drupe; dark blue; 1/4" diameter; sweet, juicy, and edible; matures in late summer.

Bark: Brown with some red; thin; scaly.

Wood: Not important; soft; weak; heartwood yellow; diffuse-porous.

General: Native to much of the western U.S., including most of Utah.  Grows in moist areas along streams in the mountains.  Fairly short-lived.  Shade intolerant, but likes protected sites.

Landscape Use: Seldom used, but could be in a native-type landscape.  Fruit is collected and used for jellies, jams, pies, and wine.  Flowers are quite attractive and open well into the summer.  Though generally a shrub or small tree, I have seen a blue elder near the Guinavah-Malibu amphitheater in Logan Canyon that was 20' to 30' high and 8" to 10" in diameter.  Zones 4-8.  Red elder (Sambucus racemosa), with its red fruit, also is native to higher elevation sites in Utah, but always occurs as a shrub.

Comments & Limitations:  Prefers abundant water.

Characteristics

General

Family:
Caprifoliaceae - Honeysuckle
Cultivar Availability:
No
Hardiness Zone:
4-8
Type:
Broadleaf
Utah Native:
Yes

Growth

Growth Rate:
Medium
Mature Height:
Medium
Longevity:
Low
Is Good Under Power Lines:
No
Crown Shape:
Rounded

Ornamental

Bark:
Yes
Fall Color:
No
Flowers:
Yes
Foliage:
No
Fruit:
Yes

Tolerence

Shade:
Low
Salt:
Medium
Drought:
Medium
Poor Drainage:
High
Alkalinity:
Medium
Transplanting:
Medium