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Genus Sambucus Family Adoxaceae

Description: Small trees or shrubs, rarely herbs, branchlets with prominent lenticels.

Leaves opposite, pinnate, sometimes glandular, petioles usually joined by a ridge, stipules absent.

Inflorescences cymose with primary branches umbellate, terminal and corymb-like, longer than the leaves. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual, 3–5-merous. Calyx 3–5-toothed. Corolla tube short, lobes 3–5, spreading. Stamens as many as corolla lobes; sessile, inserted in corolla tube; anthers 2-locular, dehiscence by longitudinal slits, extrorse. Ovary inferior, 3–5-locular; ovule solitary in each loculus; style slender, terminal.

Fruit a drupe, succulent with 3–5 pyrenes.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 40 species, cosmopolitan. Australia: 3 species (2 species endemic, 1 species naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas., S.A.

See revision by R. Bolli (1994) Dissertationes Botanicae v. 223.

Text by G. J. Harden (1992); edited KL Wilson (Dec 2007)
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves with basal pair of leaflets very close to stem, stipule-like; flowers mostly 4-merous; fruit whiteSambucus gaudichaudiana
Leaves with basal pair of leaflets more than 10 mm from stem, not stipule-like; flowers usually 3- or 5-merous; fruit yellow or black2
2Fruit yellow; flowers usually 3-merousSambucus australasica
Fruit black; flowers usually 5-merous
                       Back to 1
Sambucus nigra

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