Sambucus caerulea

Deciduous large shrub that grows up to 20′ tall with soft pithy twigs and dark blue-brown bark. Its leaves are large, divided into 5-7 leaflets that are sharply toothed. It has creamy white flowers that grow in dense rounded clusters. It produces bright blue berry-like drupes that are valuable to birds and wildlife. Fast growing handsome shrub. Berries are edible when ripe.

blue elderberry fruit

Photo credit: Seven Oaks Native Nursery

  • blue elderberry fruit

Plant Details

Upland Prairie and Savanna
Riparian Forests
Mixed Hardwood-Conifer Forest or Woodland
Mature Height:
Shade Preference:
Full Sun, Partial Shade, Full Shade,
Soil Tolerance:
Well-drained soils
Special Uses:
Attracts insects, bees and butterflies; Attracts birds; Attracts hummingbirds; Provides wildlife forage, cover and food; Ornamental; Deer resistant