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Sambucus Racemosa or Red Elderberry is a species of Elderberry

Images of Sambucus Racemosa at

Sambucus Racemosa is a species of elderberry known by the common name Red Elderberry.

Overview of Sambucus Racemosa

• It is native to Europe, temperate Asia, and north and central North America.
• It grows in riparian environments, woodlands, and other habitat, generally in moist areas.
• This is a treelike shrub that grows 2 to 6 meters tall.
• The stems are soft with a pithy center.
• Each individual leaf is composed of 5 to 7 leaf-like leaflets.
• These leaflets are each up to 16 centimeters long, lance-shaped to narrowly oval, and irregularly serrated along the edges.
• The leaflets have a strong disagreeable odor when crushed.
• The flower buds are pink when closed, and the open flowers are white, cream, or yellowish.
• Each flower has small, recurved petals and a star-shaped axis of five white stamens tipped with yellow anthers.
• The flowers are fragrant and visited by hummingbirds and butterflies.
• The fruit is a bright red or sometimes purple drupe containing 3 to 5 seeds.
• The fruits are popular with birds.
• Many parts of this plant are poisonous, and have been used as a traditional emetic.
• The fruits are reportedly safe to eat when cooked.

Growing/Caring conditions of Sambucus

• Plant at least two different cultivators of elderberry bushes to facilitate fertilization.
• Position the bushes in an area of full sun to partial shade in well-drained soil near an outer boundary of your property.
• The branches of mature bushes become weighed down with berry clusters in late summer.
• So, put them in a location that doesn’t interfere with walkways, lawn mowing or nearby plants sunlight requirements.
• Water elderberry bushes frequently during their first year in the garden to keep the surrounding soil consistently moist.
• Once established, both American and European elderberries tolerate drought conditions.
• They may exhibit reduced flowering and berry yields unless watered during extended dry periods.
• Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch in a 3- to 4-foot-wide area around Sambucus bushes.
• In addition to retaining moisture in the soil and suppressing weeds, you can easily see and remove the suckers that sprout up around the bushes’ bases.
• Prune elderberries in early spring before the leaves begin to open.
• During the first two years, allow five to seven of the bush’s multiple stems to grow freely.
• Cut any new stems that emerge down to ground level to keep the plant from becoming leggy.
• Once an elderberry bush is more than 6 to 8 feet tall, prune away up to half of its branches to maintain an attractive, symmetrical appearance.
• Prune back stems more than 3 years old to the ground to allow new stems to grow for more vigorous fruit production.
• Examine elderberry bushes routinely for signs of fungus disease.
• If twig canker appears, immediately cut the entire stem back to the ground and burn it or discard in the trash.
• Watch for any stems that die back, a problem that may be caused by elder shoot borers.
• Cut the dead stems away in the autumn and discard to prevent the pests from overwintering in the plant.
• Protect your elderberry crop from birds by covering the entire bush with lightweight netting.

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