Sambucus cerulea Raf.
Family: Adoxaceae
tápiro,  more...
[Sambucus caerulea Raf.,  more]
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Max Licher  
Benson and Darrow 1981, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Common Name: blue elderberry Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub Wetland Status: FAC General: Shrubs or small trees, deciduous; to 6 m tall; trunk to 30 cm diameter; crown rounded and compact; bark gray or brown, furrowed; twigs stout, angled, with thick, soft pith; lateral buds green, scaly. Leaves: Opposite, pinnately compound, 13-18 cm long; leaflets 3-5, elliptical with serrated edges, 3-13 cm long, base often oblique, apex pointed; green and glabrous above, pale and glabrous or pubescent beneath. Flowers: Inflorescence in flat-topped clusters with or without a stalk; many-branched, commonly 10-25 cm wide. Flowers bisexual, yellowish-white, fragrant, 4-7 mm wide; corolla 5-lobed. Fruits: Berries in clusters; dark blue with whitish coating, 6 mm diameter, juicy, 3-5 seeded; maturing in summer and autumn. Ecology: Moist soils along streams, in canyons, and loamy bottomlands; 2,500-5,000 ft (762-1524 m); flowers May-August. Distribution: Much of western N. Amer. from Alberta west to British Columbia and south to CA, east to TX, and south to N. MEX. Notes: Distinguished by its thick, pithy twigs; opposite, pinnately compound leaves with irregularly toothed edges; flat-topped cluster of flowers; dark blue berries with whitish coating. Browsed by goats, elk, and sheep, and berries eaten by bears, rodents and songbirds. Habitat for endangered elderberry beetle. Uncertainty remains as to the correct nomenclature for this species, the most common is thought to be S. nigra ssp. cerulea. Ethnobotany: Elderberries were eaten when cooked, as some species are poisonous in raw form. Used in preserves, wine, or liquor (Sambuca). Washes made from bark were used to soothe sores. Berries dried, mashed for cakes and mush and wine by Gila Pima, and important as winter food. Stems used for orange dye, and berries for black or purple dye. Flowers stimulate sweating in dry fevers, while leaves have a mild laxative effect, are diuretic and useful in rheumatism and arthritis. Etymology: Sambucus comes from the Greek Sambuke, referring to an harplike instrument made of elder wood; nigra refers to the dark berries. Synonyms: Sambucus mexicana, Sambucus cerulea, Sambucus cerulea var. neomexicana, Sambucus cerulea var. velutina, Sambucus glauca, Sambucus mexicana var. cerulea, Sambucus mexicana subsp. cerulea, Sambucus neomexicana, Sambucus velutina, many others: see Tropicos. Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2015
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Max Licher  
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Leslie Landrum  
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Anthony Mendoza  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Anthony Mendoza  
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Tony Frates  
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Sue Carnahan  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Patrick Alexander  
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Thomas Van Devender  
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David Thornburg  
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Thomas Van Devender  
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Thomas Van Devender  
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Thomas Van Devender  
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Max Licher  
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Max Licher  
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