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Sambucus mexicana - C.Presl.

Common Name Mexican Elder
Family Caprifoliaceae
USDA hardiness 3-9
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, the leaves and stems of some, if not all, members of this genus are poisonous[9, 76]. 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[65, 76].
Habitats Open flats and cismontane valleys and canyons below 1850 metres in California[71]. Oak forests along streams and ditches, 1800 - 3000 metres in Mexico[181].
Range South-western N. America - California to New Mexico, south to Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Sambucus mexicana Mexican Elder


Sambucus mexicana Mexican Elder

 

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Summary

Sambucus mexicana is a Synonym of Sambucus nigra L. ssp. canadensis (L.) R. Bolli American black elderberry


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Sambucus mexicana is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower from May to June. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.
It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

S. caerulea mexicana. (Presl.)L.Benson. S. coriacea. S. orbiculata. S. velutina.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit
Edible Uses:

Flowers - raw or cooked[183]. Fruit - raw or cooked[257]. It is usually dried before being used since this reduces a somewhat rank taste[177, 181, 183]. The fruit can be used in making pies, preserves, winemaking etc[183]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter and is borne in large clusters[227]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Febrifuge  Laxative  Stomachic

An infusion of the blossoms has been used in the treatment of upset stomachs, fevers, sore throats, colds and flu[257]. A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of constipation[257].

References

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FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Dye  Wood

A purple to black dye is obtained from the fruits[257]. An orange to yellow dye is obtained from the stems[257]. Wood - soft and coarse-grained[227].

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. It is closely related to S. caerulea[71]. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Tolerates most soils, including chalk[200], but prefers a moist loamy soil[11, 200]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates some shade but is best in a sunny position[1]. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and coastal situations[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].

References

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, when it should germinate in early spring. Stored seed can be sown in the spring in a cold frame but will probably germinate better if it is given 2 months warm followed by 2 months cold stratification first[78, 98, 113]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If good growth is made, the young plants can be placed in their permanent positions during the early summer. Otherwise, either put them in a sheltered nursery bed, or keep them in their pots in a sheltered position and plant them out in spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[78]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth 15 - 20cm with a heel, late autumn in a frame or a sheltered outdoor bed[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Sambucus australasicaYellow ElderberryShrub6.0 -  LMHSNM20 
Sambucus caeruleaBlue ElderShrub3.0 4-8 MLMHSNDM423
Sambucus chinensisChinese ElderPerennial1.5 7-10  LMHSNM21 
Sambucus ebulusDwarf Elder, Dwarf elderberryPerennial1.2 4-8 FLMHSNM12 
Sambucus gaudichaudianaWhite ElderberryShrub3.0 -  LMHSNM20 
Sambucus javanicaChinese ElderShrub0.0 -  LMHSNM12 
Sambucus latipinna Shrub0.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Sambucus melanocarpaBlack Elder, Rocky Mountain elderShrub4.0 5-9  LMHSNM22 
Sambucus microbotrysRed ElderShrub2.0 5-9  LMHSNM10 
Sambucus nigraElderberry - European Elder, Black elderberry, American black elderberry, Blue elderberry, EuropeaShrub6.0 5-7 FLMHSNM435
Sambucus nigra spp canadensisAmerican ElderShrub4.0 3-9 FLMHSNM433
Sambucus pubensAmerican Red ElderShrub4.0 4-8  LMHSNM311
Sambucus racemosaRed Elder, Red elderberry, Rocky Mountain elder, European Red ElderberryShrub3.0 3-7 MLMHSNM322
Sambucus racemosa kamtschaticaRed ElderShrub3.0 4-8  LMHSNM322
Sambucus racemosa sieboldiana Shrub4.0 0-0 MLMHSNM102
Sambucus racemosa var. racemosaRed Coast ElderShrub3.0 5-9  LMHSNM322
Sambucus wightianaElderPerennial1.0 -  LMHSNM02 
Sambucus williamsii Shrub0.0 -  LMHSNM12 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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C.Presl.

Botanical References

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Readers comment

Cathy   Sat Jun 5 00:33:56 2004

My mexican elder has been blown over by the wind the last 2 springs. Any suggestions on how to prevent this from happening again? I don't want it to damage my house.

Joan Stevens   Fri Jan 25 2008

Sambucus mexicana is much bigger than 1m! All over Southern California it's a small tree. I'd say closer to 2-3m

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