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Sambucus pubens - Michx.

Common Name American Red Elder
Family Caprifoliaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
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]. NC State University have noted Cyanogenic glycoside and alkaloids can cause low toxity if eaten.
Habitats Moist to wet soils along streams, in woods and open areas from valleys to around 3,000 metres[212].
Range N. America - British Columbia to Newfoundland, south to Georgia, Iowa, Colorado and California.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Sambucus pubens American Red Elder


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund
Sambucus pubens American Red Elder
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Wsiegmund

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Sambucus pubens is a deciduous Shrub growing to 4 m (13ft 1in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4. It is in flower from June to July. 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 and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly 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

Sambucus racemosa pubens leucocarpa. (Torr.&Gray.)Cronq.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Fruit
Edible Uses: Tea

Fruit - raw or cooked[105, 161, 257]. A bitter flavour[183]. The fruit is quite nutritious, having a relatively high fat and protein as well as carbohydrate content[212]. The fruit can be dried prior to use, it will then lose some of its rank taste[183]. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter and is borne in large clusters making it easy to harvest[200]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flowers - raw or cooked. The root is made into a tea-like beverage[105, 161, 183].

References   More on Edible Uses

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.
Diuretic  Purgative

The bark and the leaves are used as a diuretic and purgative[212]. The blossoms have been used in the treatment of measles[257].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Musical

The stem is easily hollowed and can be used to make a whistle[212].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

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]. Closely related to S. racemosa and considered part of that species by some botanists[43]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant 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

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 9-10  LMHSNM202
Sambucus caeruleaBlue ElderShrub3.0 4-8 MLMHSNDM423
Sambucus chinensisChinese ElderPerennial1.5 7-10  LMHSNM211
Sambucus ebulusDwarf Elder, Dwarf elderberryPerennial1.2 4-8 FLMHSNM123
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 mexicanaMexican ElderShrub1.0 3-9  LMHSNM212
Sambucus microbotrysRed ElderShrub2.0 5-9  LMHSNM10 
Sambucus nigraElderberry - European Elder, Black elderberry, American black elderberry, Blue elderberry, EuropeaShrub6.0 5-10 FLMHSNM435
Sambucus nigra spp canadensisAmerican ElderShrub4.0 3-9 FLMHSNM433
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 -  LMHSNM121

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.

 

Expert comment

Author

Michx.

Botanical References

1143200

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