Blue elderberry is usually a large multi stemmed spreading shrub with many branches, although occasionally is found as a small single trunk tree.
Young bark is thin, light brown and covered in small blisters, mature bark becomes gray with irregular furrows. The leaves are compound with 5-9 serrated leaflets. Inflorescences are flat topped and composed of many creamy white flowers. Small, waxy-blue berries are produced in large drooping clusters in late autumn.
Found near streambanks, in pastures, mixed conifer forests and open places in riparian areas at elevations up to 2700 m (8900'), its range swoops across Western North America from British Columbia to Texas. Sambucus caerulea is a dominant understory species in riparian woodlands.
Grows well in full sun to partial shade, well drained moist to dry soil.
The berries can be used to make elderberry wine, jam, syrup, and pies. Caution should be taken for parts of sambucus contain the cyanogenic glycoside, sambunigrin, berries should be cooked before eating. Provides many different habitats, food source and protection that support a diverse array of animal species.
Information source: www.sevenoaksnativenursery.com/native-plants/trees/sambucus-caerulea/
Genus - Sambucus
Species - Caerulea
Common name - Blue Elderberry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 9
Height - 8'-10' / 2.40 - 3 m
Plant type - Shrub, tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Sun to Partial Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Chalk, clay, Loam, Sand, well drained
Water requirements - Moist to Dry, drought tolerant
Landscape uses - Woodland Garden Sunny Edge Dappled Shade, Shady Edge, edible
Bloom season - Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White Cream
You can plant the seeds outdoors in the fall and let them naturally stratify during the winter and they will germinate in the spring.
But if you are going to sow it inside - cold stratification period is required.
1. Soak the seeds for 12 hours in warm water (~+30-+40C).
2. Mix the seeds with moist vermiculite or sterile sand, place in ziplock bag and keep inside in your fridge (+2-+4C) for 60 days.
3. After startification sow the seeds in pots on the surface of the moist soil. Cover lightly (1-2 mm) with vermiculite or soil.
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