Plantae > Tracheophyta > Magnoliopsida > Dipsacales > Adoxaceae > Sambucus > Sambucus nigra

Sambucus nigra (European black elderberry; European black elder; European elderberry)

Synonyms: Sambucus arborescens; Sambucus aurea; Sambucus dissecta; Sambucus elegans; Sambucus floribunda; Sambucus florida; Sambucus laciniata; Sambucus leucocarpa; Sambucus linearis; Sambucus medullosa; Sambucus monstrosa; Sambucus nigra f. albomarmorata; Sambucus nigra f. chlorocarpa; Sambucus nigra f. luteomarmorata; Sambucus pulverulenta; Sambucus rotundifolia; Sambucus virescens; Sambucus vulgaris

Wikipedia Abstract

Sambucus nigra is a species complex of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae native to most of Europe and North America. Common names include elder, elderberry, black elder, European elder, European elderberry and European black elderberry. It grows in a variety of conditions including both wet and dry fertile soils, primarily in sunny locations.
View Wikipedia Record: Sambucus nigra


Height [3]  20 feet (6 m)
Width [3]  20 feet (6 m)
Air Quality Improvement [1]  Low
Allergen Potential [1]  Medium
Carbon Capture [1]  Low
Shade Percentage [1]  81 %
Temperature Reduction [1]  Low
Wind Reduction [1]  Medium-High
Hardiness Zone Minimum [1]  USDA Zone: 6 Low Temperature: -10 F° (-23.3 C°) → 0 F° (-17.8 C°)
Hardiness Zone Maximum [1]  USDA Zone: 7 Low Temperature: 0 F° (-17.8 C°) → 10 F° (-12.2 C°)
Light Preference [5]  Mixed Sun/Shade
Soil Acidity [5]  Neutral
Soil Fertility [5]  Rich
Soil Moisture [5]  Moist
Water Use [1]  Moderate
Bee Flower Color [2]  Blue-Green
Flower Color [2]  White
Edible [3]  May be edible. See the Plants For A Future link below for details.
Flower Type [3]  Hermaphrodite
Hazards [3]  The leaves and stems are poisonous; The fruit of many species (although no records have been seen for this species) has been known to cause stomach upsets to some people. Any toxin the fruit might contain is liable to be of very low toxicity and is destroyed when the fruit is cooked;
Leaf Type [3]  Deciduous
Lifespan [4]  Perennial
Pollinators [3]  Flies
Scent [3]  The crushed foliage has a strong aroma.
Structure [3]  Shrub
Usage [3]  The plant is a valuable addition to the compost heap; The leaves are used as an insect repellent; They can be powdered and placed amongst plants to act as a deterrent; This is prepared by boiling 3 - 4 handfuls of leaves in a litre of water, then straining and allowing to cool before applying; Effective against many insects, it also treats various fungal infections such as leaf rot and powdery mildew;The dried flowering shoots are used to repel insects, rodents etc; The flowers are used in skin lotions, oils and ointments; Tolerant of salt-laden gales, this species can be grown as a shelter hedge in exposed maritime areas; This is an excellent pioneer species to use when re-establishing woodlands. It is very tough and wind-resistant, grows quickly and provides shelter for longer-lived and taller woodland species to establish. It will generally maintain itself in the developing woodland, though usually in the sunnier positions; A dye is obtained from the fruit and the bark; The bark of older branches and the root have been used as an ingredient in dyeing black; A green dye is obtained from the leaves when alum is used as a mordant; The berries yield various shades of blue and purple dyes; They have also been used as a hair dye, turning the hair black; The blue colouring matter from the fruit can be used as a litmus to test if something is acid or alkaline. It turns green in an alkaline solution and red in an acid solution; The pith in the stems of young branches pushes out easily and the hollow stems thus made have been used as pipes for blowing air into a fire; They can also be made into musical instruments; The pith of the wood is used for making microscope slides and also for treating burns and scalds; The mature wood is white and fine-grained. It is easily cut and polishes well; Valued highly by carpenters, it has many used, for making skewers, mathematical instruments, toys etc;
View Plants For A Future Record : Sambucus nigra

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Belovezhskaya Pushcha Biosphere Reserve National Park II 218515 Belarus
Berchtesgaden Alps National Park II 51433 Germany
Buchholz bei Bleiwäsche 786 Germany  
Buskett - Girgenti Area 557 Malta  
Cairnsmore of Fleet, Silver Flowe, and Merrick Kells Biosphere Reserve 8794 Scotland, United Kingdom
Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands 354692 Scotland, United Kingdom
Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries/ Bae Caerfyrddin ac Aberoedd 163340 Wales, United Kingdom
Carpathian Biosphere Reserve 144772 Ukraine  
Craven Limestone Complex 13166 England, United Kingdom
Dornoch Firth and Morrich More 21499 Scotland, United Kingdom
Dorset Heaths (Purbeck and Wareham) and Studland Dunes 5491 England, United Kingdom
Exmoor Heaths 26455 England, United Kingdom
Flusslandschaft Elbe Biosphere Reserve 925242 Germany  
Ghajn Barrani Area 135 Malta  
Humber Estuary 90582 England, United Kingdom
Ingleborough Complex 14256 England, United Kingdom
Is-Simar (l/o San Pawl il-Bahar) 144 Malta  
Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve   Scotland, United Kingdom
Isles of Scilly Complex 66350 England, United Kingdom    
Kavkazskiy Biosphere Reserve Ia 692723 Krasnodar, Karachay-Cherkessia, Adygea, Russia
Killarney National Park II 25482 Ireland
Luberon Regional Nature Park V 406572 France  
Lyme Bay and Torbay 77215 England, United Kingdom
Migneint–Arenig–Dduallt 49343 Wales, United Kingdom
Morecambe Bay 151985 England, United Kingdom
Morecambe Bay Pavements 6449 England, United Kingdom
North Norfolk Coast 7926 England, United Kingdom  
North Pennine Moors 254789 England, United Kingdom
Palava Protected Landscape Area V   Czech Republic  
Parco Del Somma-Vesuvio e Miglio D'Oro National Park II 33648 Italy
Pen Llyn a`r Sarnau/ Lleyn Peninsula and the Sarnau 360832 Wales, United Kingdom
Rdumijiet ta' Malta: Ir-Ramla tac-Cirkewwa sa Il-Ponta ta' Benghisa 5724 Malta  
Severn Estuary/ Môr Hafren 182155 England/Wales, United Kingdom
Sierra Espuña 43691 Spain  
Solway Firth 107829 England/Scotland, United Kingdom
Taynish National Nature Reserve   Scotland, United Kingdom
The New Forest 72309 England, United Kingdom
Tsentral'no-Chernozemny Biosphere Reserve Ia 13064 Kursk, Russia
Ukrainskii Stepnoi Zapovednik Nature Zapovednik Ia 2920 Ukraine  
Voronezhskiy Biosphere Reserve 95835 Russia  
Zhuvintas Zapovednik 18223 Lithuania  



Acerra normalis[6]
Achatodes zeae (elder shoot borer)[6]
Acrocephalus scirpaceus (Eurasian Reed Warbler)[7]
Admetovis oxymorus[6]
Alliopsis silvestris[8]
Anania coronata <Unverified Name>[8]
Anaplectoides pressus[6]
Aneurus avenius <Unverified Name>[9]
Anobium punctatum (furniture beetle)[9]
Anthophila fabriciana (Nettle-tap Moth)[8]
Aphis sambuci (Elder Aphid)[8]
Arnoldiola sambuci[9]
Ascochyta deformis[10]
Athelia salicum[10]
Athous subfuscus <Unverified Name>[8]
Auricularia auricula-judae (Jelly Ear)[10]
Aythya fuligula (Tufted Duck)[10]
Baeolophus bicolor (Tufted Titmouse)[11]
Byssosphaeria schiedermayeriana[10]
Callima argenticinctella[6]
Calocera viscosa (Yellow Stagshorn)[10]
Celastrina argiolus (Holly Blue Butterfly)[10]
Cepaea nemoralis (grovesnail)[8]
Chionaspis salicis (black willow bark louse)[9]
Choristoneura hebenstreitella (Mountain-ash tortricid)[6]
Clitocybe americana[10]
Columba palumbus (Common Wood Pigeon)[8]
Contarinia sambuci[9]
Cryptocala acadiensis (catocaline dart)[6]
Cyanistes caeruleus (Blue Tit)[10]
Cytospora sambuci[10]
Dacrymyces enatus[10]
Daedaleopsis confragosa[10]
Didymosphaeria massarioides[10]
Diplodia sambucina[10]
Dryocopus pileatus (Pileated Woodpecker)[11]
Epitrimerus trilobus <Unverified Name>[9]
Eristalis pertinax[8]
Erithacus rubecula (European Robin)[12]
Erysiphe lonicerae[8]
Eueretagrotis attentus (Attentive Dart)[6]
Eupeodes latifasciatus[8]
Eupithecia innotata (Angle-barred Pug)[9]
Eupithecia tripunctaria (whitespotted pug)[6]
Exidiopsis calcea[10]
Ficedula hypoleuca (European Pied Flycatcher)[13]
Garrulus glandarius (Eurasian Jay)[10]
Glis glis (fat dormouse)[14]
Gortyna flavago[9]
Hapalopilus rutilans (Cinnamon Bracket)[10]
Helina reversio[8]
Hohenbuehelia atrocoerulea[10]
Kuehneromyces mutabilis (Sheathed Woodtuft)[10]
Lachnella alboviolascens[10]
Lentinus brumalis[10]
Leucoagaricus serenus[10]
Liriomyza amoena[8]
Lithophane fagina[6]
Lygocoris pabulinus (Common Green Capsid)[9]
Macrophya albicincta <Unverified Name>[8]
Macrophya ribis <Unverified Name>[8]
Marmota monax (woodchuck)[11]
Melanchra persicariae (Dot Moth)[9]
Meripilus giganteus[10]
Monodictys asperospora[10]
Mydaea anicula[8]
Myoleja caesio <Unverified Name>[9]
Neolentinus lepideus (Scaly Sawgill)[10]
Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer)[11]
Oemona hirta[15]
Ourapteryx sambucaria (Swallow-tailed Moth)[8]
Oxyporus populinus[10]
Panellus serotinus (Olive Oysterling)[10]
Panellus stipticus (Bitter Oysterling)[10]
Paradiarsia littoralis[6]
Parasyrphus annulatus[8]
Parus major (Great Tit)[10]
Passer montanus (Eurasian Tree Sparrow)[10]
Peniophora boidinii[10]
Phaonia incana <Unverified Name>[8]
Phaonia perdita[8]
Phlyctaenia coronata[9]
Phoenicurus ochruros (Black Redstart)[10]
Phoenicurus phoenicurus (Common Redstart)[10]
Pholiota aurivella (Golden Scalycap)[10]
Phomopsis sambucina[10]
Placochela nigripes[9]
Pleurotus dryinus (Veiled Oyster)[10]
Pluteus salicinus (Willow Shield)[10]
Poecile palustris (Marsh Tit)[10]
Pogonocherus hispidulus[9]
Protaetia cuprea (Rose Chafer)[8]
Proteoteras moffatiana[6]
Prunella modularis (Dunnock)[8]
Pseudocercospora depazeoides[8]
Ptilinus pectinicornis[9]
Pulvinaria hydrangeae (cottony hydrangea scale)[8]
Pyrrhula pyrrhula (Eurasian Bullfinch)[10]
Resupinatus applicatus (Smoked Oysterling)[10]
Rhagium bifasciatum (two-banded longhorn beetle)[9]
Rigidoporus ulmarius[10]
Saperda scalaris[9]
Saturnia pavonia (Emperor moth)[9]
Sitta carolinensis (White-breasted Nuthatch)[11]
Skeletocutis nivea (Hazel Bracket)[10]
Spilosoma lubricipeda (White Ermine Moth)[9]
Spilosoma luteum <Unverified Name>[9]
Streptopelia decaocto (Eurasian Collared-Dove)[8]
Sturnus vulgaris (European Starling)[11]
Sylvia atricapilla (Eurasian Blackcap)[8]
Sylvia borin (Garden Warbler)[12]
Sylvia communis (Common Whitethroat)[10]
Sylvia curruca (Lesser Whitethroat)[12]
Tetracis crocallata[6]
Thrips atratus[9]
Thrips major[9]
Thrips obscuratus <Unverified Name>[15]
Thrips sambuci <Unverified Name>[9]
Tillus elongatus <Unverified Name>[9]
Trichordestra tacoma[6]
Turdus iliacus (Redwing)[10]
Turdus merula (Eurasian Blackbird)[12]
Turdus philomelos (Song Thrush)[12]
Udea prunalis[9]
Vuilleminia comedens (Waxy Crust)[10]
Vuilleminia coryli[10]
Xanthoporia radiata (Alder Bracket)[10]
Xestia smithii (Smith's Dart)[6]
Xylodon rimosissimus[10]
Xylodon sambuci (Elder Whitewash)[8]
Zosterops lateralis (Silvereye)[16]
Zotheca tranquilla[6]
Acrosternum hilare (Green stinkbug)[11]
Antheraea polyphemus (polyphemus moth)[11]
Cardinalis cardinalis (Northern Cardinal)[11]
Mimus polyglottos (Northern Mockingbird)[11]
Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse)[11]
Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern Cottontail)[11]
Turdus migratorius (American Robin)[11]


Pollinated by 
Alliopsis silvestris[8]
Anthophila fabriciana (Nettle-tap Moth)[8]
Athous subfuscus <Unverified Name>[8]
Eristalis pertinax[8]
Eupeodes latifasciatus[8]
Mydaea anicula[8]
Parasyrphus annulatus[8]


Parasitized by 
Aphyllon vallicolum (hillside broomrape)[10]
Cyclocybe cylindracea (Poplar Fieldcap)[10]
Erysiphe lonicerae[8]
Liriomyza amoena[8]
Oxyporus populinus (Poplar Bracket)[10]
Phylloporia ribis[10]
Pseudocercospora depazeoides[8]
Shelter for 
Agkistrodon contortrix (Southern Copperhead)[11]
Anaxyrus americanus americanus (Eastern American Toad)[11]
Cicindela sexguttata (Six-spotted Tiger Beetle)[11]
Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite)[11]
Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick)[11]
Geothlypis trichas (Common Yellowthroat)[11]
Gryllus pennsylvanicus (fall field cricket)[11]
Lithobates sylvaticus (Wood Frog)[11]
Microtus pennsylvanicus (meadow vole)[11]
Rabidosa rabida (Rabid wolf spider)[11]
Rattus norvegicus (Norway rat)[11]
Sciurus carolinensis (eastern gray squirrel)[11]
Streptopelia turtur (European Turtle-Dove)[8]
Tamias striatus (eastern chipmunk)[11]
Acrosternum hilare (Green stinkbug)[11]
Antheraea polyphemus (polyphemus moth)[11]
Cardinalis cardinalis (Northern Cardinal)[11]
Mimus polyglottos (Northern Mockingbird)[11]
Peromyscus leucopus (white-footed mouse)[11]
Sylvilagus floridanus (Eastern Cottontail)[11]
Turdus migratorius (American Robin)[11]


Caribbean; North America; Oceania;



Attributes / relations provided by
1i-Tree Species v. 4.0, developed by the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station and SUNY-ESF using the Horticopia, Inc. plant database.
2Arnold SEJ, Faruq S, Savolainen V, McOwan PW, Chittka L, 2010 FReD: The Floral Reflectance Database — A Web Portal for Analyses of Flower Colour. PLoS ONE 5(12): e14287.
3Plants For A Future licensed under a Creative Commons License
4PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish Plants: Status, Size, Life History, Geography and Habitats, M. O. Hill, C. D. Preston & D. B. Roy, Biological Records Centre, NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2004)
5ECOFACT 2a Technical Annex - Ellenberg’s indicator values for British Plants, M O Hill, J O Mountford, D B Roy & R G H Bunce (1999)
6HOSTS - a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants Gaden S. Robinson, Phillip R. Ackery, Ian J. Kitching, George W. Beccaloni AND Luis M. Hernández
7del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
8Ecology of Commanster
9Biological Records Centre Database of Insects and their Food Plants
10Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
11Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
12Birds and berries: a study of an ecological interaction. Calton, Great Britain, Snow B.K., Snow D.W., 1988, T & AD Poyser. 268 p.
13Frugivorous diet of autumn migrant Pied Flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca: a review and new data, A. Hernández, Butll. GCA 16: 53-60, 1999
14Influences of the feeding ecology on body mass and possible implications for reproduction in the edible dormouse (Glis glis), Joanna Fietz, M. Pflug, W. Schlund, F. Tataruch, J Comp Physiol B (2005) 175: 45–55
15New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Plant-SyNZ™ database
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access