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Mexican Elderberry

Sambucus caerulea

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Shrub
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Moderate-high
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Pollinators Bees, butterflies, moths
Has Spines No
In relative feet, width by height
10-30' × 10-20'
Freeze Tolerant Yes
Flowering Season May-August
Flower Color White
Minimum Temperature Range -20 °F
Leaf Description Opposite, compound, 3-5 leaflets with serrated edges
Fruit Bunches of dark purple berries
View on SEINet View SEINet Entry
Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 2500-5000 ft.
Description This large, fruit bearing shrub is suitable for cultivation anywhere in Arizona so long as water is available. Elderberry prefers to grow along streams, washes, or moist meadows so this plant works well in greywater gardens. It would also be a suitable hedge to grow near a vegetable garden where it will receive extra moisture, and where it can draw in pollinators, and wildlife. This species can get quite large with moisture, so give it plenty of room, but plant it somewhere prominent because it is gorgeous when in bloom. An ideal plant for permaculture gardens focused on food or medicine production. If elderberry is getting minimal water then don't be too surprised if it goes deciduous (drops leaves) in the summer, and leafs back out in the fall. This plant is a larval host for several moths.