Blue Elderberry

Sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea12

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sambucus (sam-BYOO-kus) (Info)
Species: nigra subsp. caerulea12
Synonym:Sambucus caerulea



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


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)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Carrick, California

Helena, Montana

Broaddus, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 25, 2011, MTVineman from Helena, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is my favourite Sambucus by far. It is native to the valleys of Western Montana where I live. Here, it makes a rather large tree-like shrub and it's bluish tinted green foliage and huge flowers plus the huge clusters of waxy blue fruit are extremely beautiful. It's one of the most noticeable and beautiful shrubs or tree's here in Montana. I see it quite often growing with Philadelphus lewisii and Physocarpus which are also native to Western Montana. I highly recommend it for it's beauty and the delicious fruit. Many times there will also be a big mass of Clematis ligusticifolia climbing into it too and that just adds to the beauty and interest.