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Sambucus racemosa (European red elder)

Beginner
skill rating
1 hour care
per year
3m
Max height
3m
Max spread
10-20 years
To maturity
Low
Toxicity

Plant details

Botanical name

Sambucus racemosa

Other names

European red elder, Red elderberry, Red-berried elder

Genus

Sambucus Sambucus

Species

S. racemosa - S. racemosa is an arching, bushy, deciduous shrub with pinnate leaves divided into five oval to ovate, toothed, dark green leaflets and conical panicles of creamy-white flowers in mid-spring followed by spherical, glossy, red fruit.


Sambucus racemosa is: Deciduous

Fragrance

Flowers are scented.

Habit

Arching, Bushy, Suckering

Toxicity

Any part of the plant may cause discomfort if ingested. However, the berries may be consumed if cooked.

Flower

Cream in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Resistant to deer browse.

Specific pests

Black-fly , Glasshouse red spider mite Black-fly , Glasshouse red spider mite

Verticillium wilt Verticillium wilt

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1 or coppice every 3-4 years. Will tolerate hard pruning to keep size in check. Tends to spread by root suckers to form colonies. Prune suckers as they appear unless naturalising.

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Softwood cuttings


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Where to grow

Sambucus racemosa (European red elder) will reach a height of 3m and a spread of 3m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Hedging/Screens, Wildlife, Woodland

Cultivation

Will tolerate most soils and aspects but best grown in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Tolerates full sun in areas with cool climates. Prefers light shade in warmer areas. Leaves may scorch in full sun. Resistant to deer browse

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

Botanical name

Sambucus racemosa

Other names

European red elder, Red elderberry, Red-berried elder

Genus

Sambucus Sambucus

Species

S. racemosa - S. racemosa is an arching, bushy, deciduous shrub with pinnate leaves divided into five oval to ovate, toothed, dark green leaflets and conical panicles of creamy-white flowers in mid-spring followed by spherical, glossy, red fruit.

Native to

Europe, North America, Russia

Foliage

Deciduous

Fragrance

Flowers are scented.

Habit

Arching, Bushy, Suckering

Toxicity

Any part of the plant may cause discomfort if ingested. However, the berries may be consumed if cooked.


Colour

Flower

Cream in Spring

Foliage

Dark-green in Spring; Dark-green in Summer; Dark-green in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Pests

Resistant to deer browse.

Specific pests

Black-fly , Glasshouse red spider mite

Specific diseases

Verticillium wilt

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1 or coppice every 3-4 years. Will tolerate hard pruning to keep size in check. Tends to spread by root suckers to form colonies. Prune suckers as they appear unless naturalising.

Propagation methods

Hardwood cuttings, Softwood cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Sambucus racemosa (European red elder) will reach a height of 3m and a spread of 3m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Coastal, Hedging/Screens, Wildlife, Woodland

Cultivation

Will tolerate most soils and aspects but best grown in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil. Tolerates full sun in areas with cool climates. Prefers light shade in warmer areas. Leaves may scorch in full sun. Resistant to deer browse

Soil type

Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3

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This plant likes... Garden match
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types) Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

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