Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Caprifoliaceae
Sambucus nigra

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 269 (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Common elder.

Deciduous shrubs or small trees rarely exceeding 3 m tall, much-branched, woody, usually glabrous; leaves with a petiole 2-5 cm long, with all leaflets never deeply divided; leaflets stalked, ovate to broadly elliptic, 4-8 x 2-5 cm (rarely more than twice longer than broad), abruptly constricted into a petiolule and into a beaked or an acute apex, with serrations in the upper two-thirds, densely arranged, glabrescent.

Inflorescences terminal, corymb-like, cymose, with 4 or 5 major branches, repeatedly branching but not always in a dichasial manner; bracts scale-like; calyx lobes 5, ovate, c. 1 mm long, rounded, glabrous; petals shortly connate, white; lobes oblong-obovate, 2-3 mm long; stamens 5, the anthers usually shorter than the filaments; ovary usually with 3 cells each with 1 ovule, ridged, with 3 short stigmas on a short broad style.

Fruit globular berries, black.

image of FSA3_Sambucus_nig.jpg Branch anf fruit.
Image source: fig. 617b in Jessop J.P. & Toelken H.R. (Ed.) 1986. Flora of South Australia (4th edn).

Published illustration: Ross-Craig (1960) Drawings Brit. Pl. 14:pl. 2.

Distribution:  In moist, usually sheltered areas such as along streams and in ravines.

S.Aust.: SL, SE.   N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.   New Zealand; native to Europe and western Asia.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Oct. — Dec.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Uses: The fruits are edible and often used to make wine.

Author: Not yet available

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