Scientific: Sambucus nigra subsp canadensis [formerly Sambucus mexicana)
Common: Mexican elderberry, American elderberry, Tapiro, western elderberry, blue elder
Family: Adoxaceae (formerly Caprifoliaceae)
Origin: Broadly distributed across the western United States, Canada and Mexico in riparian areas to as high as 9,000 feet in elevation.

Pronounciation: Sam-BU-cus NYE-gra can-a-DEN-sis

Hardiness zones: Sunset 5-24
USDA 4-11

Landscape Use: Mesic native and riparian gardens, edible gardens, screen, background shrub or multiple trunk small tree.

Form & Character: Deciduous, upright and spreading, unbridled, informal.

Growth Habit: Moderately upright, 15 to 30 feet in height with less than equal spread.

Foliage/texture: Leaves opposite, pinnately compound, 6 to 10 inches long, 5 to 9 leaflets, each 2 to 4 inches long and 0.5 to 1.5 inches wide, narrowly ovate or lanceolate, unequal at base, coarsely serrate, bright green; medium texture.

Flowers & fruits: Umbellated clusters of small white flowers in later spring followed by clusters or dark blue to purple fruit, edible.

Seasonal color: Subtle flower color in mid to later spring, purplish fruit color in fall.

Temperature: Tolerant to -10oF.

Light: Partial to full sun

Soil: Moist soils are best.

Watering: Responds best to regular water, will tolerate much drought without extreme heat.

Pruning: None, except to control height by occasionally every few years heading back in February.

Propagation: Variable success from cuttings, realitively easy from seed.

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Sambucus is a richly diverse genus with many species worldwide, but is not common in Phoenix landscapes. A pleasant tea can be made from the dried flowers. The dried flower stems are t hought to repel insects and rodents. The bark and leaves have many medicinal uses from an antiseptic wash, to pain relief, treatment of common viral colds, and use as a laxative. Fruits is used to makes jams, jellies and wine.