Trees of Alabama and the Southeast

Lisa Samuelson, Ph.D.
School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Auburn University

ELDERBERRY
Sambucus canadensis
Caprifoliaceae

Leaves are pinnately compound, opposite and deciduous with 5-7 pairs of toothed leaflets and a grooved rachis. Twigs are stout and green-gray with lenticels and crescent-shaped leaf scars. The twigs are smelly when bruised. Bark is gray and smooth with corky projections. Fruit is a purple berry-like drupe. Form is a shrub or small tree up to 6 m (20 ft) in height, more commonly a sprawling shrub, found on wet to moist sites, often in drainage ditches, in the east and central U.S. and is shade intolerant. The fruits are popular with birds and used in jams, pies, teas and wines.

Photographs by Mike Hogan.

To view examples, click on the thumbnail below: