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Gardening sheet sambucus caerulea


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Gardening sheet sambucus caerulea

  1. 1. Blue/Mexican Elderberry – Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea (sam-BUCK-us NI-gruh sir-ROOL-ee-uh) Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family) – possible better in Adoxaceae? Native to: Western N. America to northern Mexico. Found in drier, more open habitats within riparian areas, moist forests, north-facing hillsides. Also known as Sambucus cerulea and S. mexicana. Growth characteristics: Large shrub/small tree mature height: to 24 ft. mature width: to 24 ft Rapidly-growing, upright plant with an open lacy look. Leaves are attractive light green. Can be longlived (50-100+ years). Blooms/fruits: Cream/white flowers in clusters from May-Sept. Edible blue-colored fruits ripen from July-Sept. Self-fertile. Pollinated by bees. Uses in the garden: Very adaptable. Use as a small specimen tree or bush in backs of beds. Good soil retention abilities – works well on slopes. Flowers have a sweet scent, so plant where you can enjoy it. Excellent for bird habitat. Does well in xeriscape or rain garden/vernal swale. Attracts: a wide variety of birds use it for cover, nesting and the edible berries. Birds include Northern Flicker, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Song Sparrow and Cedar Waxwing. Hummingbirds and bees are attracted to flowers. Requirements: Element Sun Soil Water Fertilizer Other Requirement Full sun (best) to partial shade Sandy to medium texture best; well-drained Occasional water during hot weather; very drought tolerant None needed; might consider using an organic mulch or manure Does not tolerate salty soils or high winds (will cause breakage) Management: very little needed. Prune out dead wood, or to shape, when dormant. Can prune into tree shape or prune heavily every few years to maintain bushy shape. Propagation: from seed: difficult. From cuttings: Can be propagated from dormant hardwood cuttings taken in winter. Ask for protocol if interested. Plant/seed sources (see list for source numbers): 1-3, 7, 8, 10-14, 16, 20, 21, 24-26, 28 12/15/10 © Project SOUND