Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea

Blue elderberry

Plant Type: Tree
Sun: Partial Shade, Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Naturalize, Occasional, Regular
Height X Width: 30' X 20'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



Blue elderberry is one of our most adaptable and widespread native trees. It grows throughout the state except the southeastern deserts, and manages to re-populate neighborhoods where it was once extirpated for agriculture. It seems to be more common in at least seasonally moist areas, but also is represented in woodlands and even chaparral. It tends to rapidly grow as a small, multi-trunk tree with an open fountain form. The compound leaves grow on long, slightly draping fronds, the umbels of white flowers are quite large and prominent. The blue waxy berries ripen by the late summer and provide abundant forage for birds. The berries are edible but not tasty. Plant blue elderberry in at least partial shade in a well-draining site and provide occasional water for rapid growth and dense growth. Almost any growing site is tolerated, however. Winter deciduous.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous