Red elderberry

Sambucus racemosa

Red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) is a large shrub or small tree, with mature dimensions to 20 feet tall by 10 feet wide. It grows from full sun to full shade, and prefers moist to wet soil. It is deciduous with large, compound leaves. White flowers bloom from early-spring to mid summer in 1.5”-3” pyramidal clusters. Bright red berry-like drupes are toxic to humans unless properly cooked.

Red elderberry attracts hummingbirds, pollinators, and beneficial insects.


  • Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist, Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Spreads:
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Hummingbirds, Pest-eating Insects
  • Edible: Toxic if eaten raw - must be properly cooked
  • Mature Height: 10-20ft
  • Mature Width: 6-10ft