Photo of red elderberry fruit

Jim Popenoe

Pacific red elderberry
(Sambucus callicarpa)

Pacific red elderberry is a deciduous shrub 10-20 feet (3-6 m) tall.  Elderberry occurs with other deciduous shrubs (e.g., salmonberry, thimbleberry, twinberry, and cascara). The shrubs grow either in the open or beneath a canopy of red alder.

Red elderberry blooms in March and April.  Clusters of red berries form by July.  The raw red berries are unpalatable to humans, but are devoured quickly by songbirds.

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