Lusciously clad in rich green compound leaves, red elderberry forms fluffy ivory flower spikes in spring followed by bright red berries in summertime. A deciduous small tree native across much of the northern half of North America, it suckers from its roots to form a thicket, and is dispersed by birds that eat the berries and spread the seed. When it comes to human consumption, the fruits are not as palatable as other elderberries and even contain small amounts of compounds that cause gastrointestinal pain, though there are reports of the red elderberries being used in wine making and cooked jam.
Like most Sambucus, this is a deciduous species. Its lustrous green leaves are compound and comprised of five to seven oval leafets with tapered tips. In mid-spring the branch tips bear fluffy, fragrant clusters of tiny ivory flowers that attract bees and butterflies. Attractive clusters of small red berries are produced by midsummer. These are highly attractive to a whole host of wild birds. The dormant leaf buds are purplish and contrast the ghostly sandy brown branches in winter.
Grow red elderberry in full sun to partial shade in any soil that is fertile but well-drained. Avoid soils that flood or have standing water and be aware this tree will sprout up in many areas of a landscape. It is often seen in mixed woodlands,abandoned lots or along fencelines. Interested gardeners may choose to plant it in informal, naturalistic landscapes designed to appeal to wildlife. (infor source: Learn2Grow.com)
Genus - Sambucus
Species - Pubens
Common name - Red Elderberry
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 7
Height - 12'-25' / 3.7m - 7.6m
Spread - 12'-15' / 3.7m - 4.6m
Plant type - Tree
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Light (sandy), medium (loamy), heavy (clay)
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Screening / Wind Break
Germination rate - 89%
Bloom season - Late spring - summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
|Germination||1. Soak in hot tap water for 24 hours|
2. Cold/moist stratify for 60 days. Seeds can be stratified in dampened peat or sand, in a plastic box or bag at 4°C or 5°C in a refrigerator. The seeds should not be frozen or in a wet medium.
3. After the stratification sow seed 1/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed.
Other: if water treatment does not allow seed to imbibe, sulfuric acid treatment is required. can be fall sown without stratification.