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Healthy Harvesters

150 Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea Seeds

150 Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra ssp. cerulea Seeds

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Blue Elderberry 

Blue Elderberry has opposite, relatively large, pinnately-divided compound leaves with 5-9, broadly lance-shaped, smooth, toothed leaflets.  Small, creamy white flowers are borne in flat-topped clusters.  Berries are bluish-black, with a waxy bloom, making them appear powdery blue.  Twigs are soft and pithy.

Plant Characteristics 


Blue Elderberry is an extremely valuable shrub for wildlife.  It provides valuable cover and nesting sites for birds and small mammals.   Its fruit provides food for many species of birds including: jays, woodpeckers, pigeons, grosbeaks, robins, thrushes, bluebirds, towhees, tanagers, and many others.  Squirrels and other small mammals also eat the fruit.  Flowers are mostly pollinated by insects but hummingbirds will visit the flowers for nectar. 

Blue Elderberries grow in riparian habitats, road banks, meadows, and damp forest openings, up to timberline. Blue elderberries ripen from mid August to mid September in most regions of the US. However, ripening berries are determined by weather, elevation, and other regional factors.
Blue elderberry: Sambucus cerulea and S. racemosa, a wild native shrub.

Range from British Columbia south to California. S. mexicana ranges from northern California south into Mexico and east into Nevada and southwestern New Mexico. The S. callicarpa species (Pacific red elder) grows in coastal habitats from southern Alaska to central California.

How to Germinate Seeds

Sambucus Caerulea seeds can be either sown in the fall or be scarified and stratified (see below) and sown in the spring. Plant seeds no more than 1/4 an inch into the soil, ensuring they are close to the soil surface. Keep seeds and soil moist. Seedlings form the next spring.

Scarification and Stratification: If not planting in fall, scarify the seeds by placing them in hot water for a day then warm stratify by planting the seeds over top moist soil kept at 70-85 degrees for 2 months. Next, cold stratify for 3 months in temperatures around 40-50 degrees. After this, move the seeds into a warm spot.

You will receive approximately 150 blue elderberry seeds.

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