Fruit-eating birds and mammals disperse the seeds. It also may be called Mountain Red Elderberry, Scarlet Elder or Elderberry, Racemed Elder, or Bunchberry Elder. Cuttings of half-ripe wood may be taken in July or August; cuttings of mature wood of the current season’s growth in late fall. Racemosa refers to the elongated inflorescences, called racemes. It is thought the name elder comes the Anglo-saxon ‘auld,’ ‘aeld’ or ‘eller’, meaning fire, because the hollow stems were used as bellows to blow air into the center of a fire. The fruit is less palatable than that of others, but is still very attractive to birds. Elderberry and elderflower extracts have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-diabetes effects. Names: The name Sambucus is derived from the Greek sambuca, which was a stringed instrument supposed to have been made from elder wood. Each flower has small, recurved petals and a star-shaped axis of … Leaves are opposite, compound, 4–12 inches long with 5–7 leaflets; leaflets 2–6 inches long, 1–2 inches wide, lance-shaped to sometimes egg-shaped; margins sharply toothed; upper surface shiny, bright green, smooth; lower surface paler, barely or densely hairy. Its vase-like, arborescent form creates an umbrella-like canopy over smaller woodland shrubs. It is one of the first shrubs to bloom in spring and the early blossoms and bright red fruits make it pretty easy to identify. They grow wild in … Phenology: Bloom time: April-July; Fruit ripens: July-August. Flowers are pollinated by bees, flies, and the wind. In the Landscape: Red Elderberry is especially attractive in woodland gardens. It grows best in full sun. In the Landscape: Red Elderberry is especially attractive in woodland gardens. Red elderberry is a tall shrub that grows best in forest openings; its seeds can remain dormant for many years until a gap opens and stimulates germination, sometimes on "nurse logs." It is lovely in bloom and the berries are beautiful. What parts of the elderberry plants toxic? Attractive white, fist shape flower clusters followed by clusters of bright red berries. Red elderberry bears bright red fruit. The elderberry makes a beautiful addition to any yard. Deer and elk will eat the foliage, bark and buds, but Red Elderberry is usually not a preferred browse; palatability increases after frost and probably varies with relative cyanide content of individual plants. It generally prefers moist habitats. Relationships: Sambucus is a genus with 5-30 species depending on how they are “lumped” or divided. The seeds, bark, leaves, flowers and ripened fruit are toxic. Our Red Elderberry has also been known as S. callicarpa (callicarpa=beautiful fruit). Cooked berries can be made into wines, sauces or jellies. The mature elderberry bush can grow to be up to 6 feet wide and 12 feet tall. Elderberries bloom in late spring or early summer. The flowers of Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) in bloom. Learn how to care for this plant and harvest the berries in our growing guide at Gardener’s Path. Additional flower clusters were observed blooming on the same plant on 22 June 2010. Sambucus racemosa is native to Europe, temperate Asia, and North America and is widespread at low to subalpine elevations. The flowers bloom in June. In the photo above taken 6 June 2010 there are over 3 dozen elderflower clusters. It’s native to both North America and Europe, and other continents besides, so you can call it either. Heat from a fire can crack the hard seed coat, and it has been shown that seeds have faster and higher germination rates after passing through the digestive tract of birds or bears. 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