Sambucus nigra L.

Common Elder

Sp. Pl. 269 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Deciduous shrub or small tree to c. 6 m high, more or less glabrous; branches striate, lenticellate. Leaves petiolate, mostly 5–25 cm long; leaflets 3 or 5, ovate to elliptic, mostly 4–8 cm long and 15–45 mm wide, glabrescent, apex acute to acuminate, base obtuse, rarely asymmetric, margins serrate in upper two-thirds; petiole 2–5 cm long; petiolules 2–4 mm long. Inflorescences cymose panicles, 5–20 cm diam., much-branched; bracts ovate, to c. 1 mm long. Sepals usually 5, ovate, c. 0.5 mm long, glabrous; petals usually 5, 2.5–3 mm long, shortly connate, yellowish or white. Drupe more or less globose, c. 5 mm long, black, shiny. Flowers mainly Oct.–Jan.

*CVU, *EGU, *GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *MonT, *NIS, *Strz, *VAlp, *VRiv, *VVP, *WaP, *Wim. Also naturalised SA, Qld, NSW, Tas. Native to Europe and western Asia. A cultivated ornamental that has become established at a number of sites in Victoria.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Caprifoliaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2018-06-19
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Dipsacales
genus Sambucus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>. Find Sambucus nigra in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Sambucus nigra in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Wimmera present introduced
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present introduced
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Northern Inland Slopes present naturalised
East Gippsland Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised
Strzelecki Ranges present naturalised
Monaro Tablelands present naturalised
Victorian Alps present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory