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PlantFiles: Red Elderberry
Sambucus pubens

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sambucus (sam-BYOO-kus) (Info)
Species: pubens (PEW-benz) (Info)

Synonym:Sambucus racemosa subsp. pubens

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By growin
Thumbnail #1 of Sambucus pubens by growin

By mgarr
Thumbnail #2 of Sambucus pubens by mgarr

By GardenGuyKin
Thumbnail #3 of Sambucus pubens by GardenGuyKin

By bonehead
Thumbnail #4 of Sambucus pubens by bonehead


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive bonehead On Nov 22, 2009, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Native to my region, well liked by the birds. I have lots in my back woodlot. The berries can be used in jams and wine, but may cause nausea eaten raw.

Positive growin On Nov 11, 2007, growin from Vancouver, BC (Zone 8b) wrote:

There are three varieties of this North American subspecies occur.

The Coastal Red Elderberry (var. arborescens) has fruits that are bright red smooth and grows to 6 m tall, west of the Cascade (Coastal) Mountains from AK to CA.

The Black Elderberry (var. melanocarpa) has black or purplish-black fruit, slightly wrinkled, 1-6M, east of the Cascade (Coastal) Mountains to AB and south to NM, AZ, NV and N CA.

The Eastern Red Elderberry (var. leucocarpa) has red to purplish-black fruit, plants 0.5-3 m tall occuring East of the Cascade (Coastal) Mountains to PQ and NB and S to TN and GA.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Salem, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Stanwood, Washington

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