Common name: Elderberry
Sambucus nigra L. APNI*
Description: Deciduous shrub, usually 2–5 m high, much-branched, woody, usually glabrous.
Leaves imparipinnate; leaflets 3 to 7, ovate to ± elliptic, mostly 4–8 cm long, 20–45 mm wide, apex acuminate to acute, base not asymmetric, margins regularly toothed in upper two-thirds, lamina ± leathery, glabrescent; petiole 2–5 cm long, lateral petiolules 2–4 mm long; stipules usually small and caducous (or even absent).
Inflorescences 5–20 cm diam. Corolla c. 3 mm long, white.
Fruit ± ovoid, c. 5 mm long, black.
Flowering: October–DecemberCultivated as an ornamental, occasionally naturalized in scattered localities. Native of Eur. & W Asia.
Distribution and occurrence:
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *SC, *CT, *ST, *NT
Other Australian states: *Vic. *Tas. *S.A.
R. Bolli (1994) in his revision recognises 6 subspecies in S. nigra but says that they are very difficult to recognise, especially without mature fruit. Specimens naturalised or cultivated in N.S.W. appear to be subsp. nigra, but that needs confirmation by study of the living plant in the field to assess all characters.
Text by G. J. Harden (1992); edited KL Wilson (Dec 2007)
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 3 (1992)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.