Sambucus is a genus of shrubs and small trees in the family Adoxaceae, comprising 5-30 species, in which two are herbaceous. It is commonly known as Elder or Elderberry. Sambucus is native to temperate and subtropical regions in Northern and Southern Hemispheres, with more widespread in Northern Hemisphere.
Sambucus are deciduous shrubs or trees, grown for their colorful foliage, white or cream-colored flowers and autumn berries which are in black, blue-black or red colors. The berries are a valuable food source for birds. The tree also serve as a food plant for larvae of some Lepidoptera (Butterflies and moths) species like Brown Tail, Dot Moth, Swallow-tailed Moth and Emperor Moth. The whole tree from leaves, twigs, branches, seeds to roots, contained a cyanide producing glycoside. Additional to this, the unripened berry, flowers and umbels also contain a toxic alkaloid.
Plant Sambucus in sun or partial shade, fertile and moisture-retentive soil. Propagation is by greenwood cutting in summer and hardwood cutting in winter. Beware of blackfly attack.