Mexican or blue elderberry is a small tree or
tall shrub growing to 25', but often shorter. It has opposite,
pinnately-compound leaves with 3-9 finely-toothed, elliptic to ovate
leaflets with acuminate apices. The many small white flowers are
in a ± flat-topped inflorescence to 4" wide, and individually
have five sepals and five petals that are fused at the base, five stamens
with yellowish anthers and a single pistil. The fruit is a nearly
black berry, densely white glaucous, thus giving it a bluish cast. This
is a very common shrub along streambanks and dry open places, flats,
valleys and canyons below 4500' in much of cismontane s. California,
blooming from March to September.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Sambucus
2) nigra 3) caerulea.
Pronunciation: sam-BOO-kus NI-gra ser-OO-lee-a.
Formerly Sambucus mexicana.
Click here for Botanical