Sambucus racemosa

Red Elderberry

Shrub or small tree with smooth, dark reddish brown bark. Leaves deciduous, with 5–7 leaflets. Leaflets, often with asymmetric base, are 2–6 in. long, lance-shaped with pointed tip, with small sharp teeth, dark green, hairless on top, lighter on underside with small hairs. Flowers small, dense in a broad oval cyme, 5 cream petals. Berries red without white wax. Grows in moist places below alpine. Var. racemosa differs, with stiff hairs on underside of leaf especially along veins; common on moist, open, logged areas and woods near coast to mid-elevations. Var. melanocarpa is similar but has black fruit and is found more often east of Cascades.

  • Rarity: Locally Common
  • Flowering Time: Early Summer
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Height: 6--18 feet
  • Habitat: Coastal, West-Side Forest
  • Found In: Mt. Rainier Np, Olympic Np, West Gorge, N Cascades Np
  • Native: Yes