Red Elderberry


Red Elderberry

Sambucus pubens 12-20' x same, though often smaller when partially shaded.

Also called Scarlet Elder and June-Bearing Elder. Ornamental elderberry and important wildlife plant. Commonly seen in the wild all over Maine, popping up in disturbed areas or along old barn foundations. Very cold hardy.

To distinguish them from other elderberries, note their pyramidal flower panicles, the fire-engine–red berry color and the time of fruiting—early summer, not late. Great early forage for bees and birds, not recommended for humans.

In his Native Trees, Shrubs & Vines, William Cullina states, “The most remarkable thing about scarlet elder is not just the brilliant color of the fruits but their ripening in midsummer, when green dominates the landscape. Amid shades of emerald, moss, jade, and olive, the clusters of scarlet berries practically leap to your eye.” We agree! Native to the U.S. Z3. Maine Grown. (1-3' bare-root plants)

595 Red Elderberry
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Additional Information


Considered self-fertile but multiple plants will improve fruit set—it’s okay to mix species.
Plant 4–6' apart. Best in rich soil but adaptable to a variety of soil types. In spring, while plant is still dormant, prune away any weak, broken or dead canes.

For more info:
About Elderberries.