Mexican elderberry or Tapiro,(Sambucus mexicana) is a
deciduous shrub to tree with butter yellow flowers in Apr.-Aug.
followed by purple berries in September-October. . This elderberry is
native to canyons, valleys west of Sierra Nevada form Oregon to Baja
and east to West Texas. It likes full sun to part shade, garden water.
It will take extreme drought after it gets its roots down. There is a
twisted old specimen south of Shandon growing out in full sun, the only
plant left by cattle for miles in a 7"rainfall area. (It's surviving
because its trunk twisted and the cattle rubbed all the bark off but
didn't girdle it because of the twisting.) Its bluish-black berries are
excellent in jelly, fair in pie. Pruning keeps the tree attractive.
Native on both nursery sites. The Santa Margarita site is right at the
edge of its cold tolerance limit. It grows here out of the cold air
sink. We lost 50% of the gallons on hand when the 1990 freeze hit. It
should be hardy to -5 to -10. It likes our summers here and Sambucus caerula likes our fall and
spring.(They both hate our winter.) Look carefully as you pass an
Elderberry you may see a hummingbird, butterfly, chipmunk, Jay,
Thrasher, or other bird as it is an excellent wildlife plant.
(Also known as Sambucus coerulea
var. arizonica, Sambucus coerulea var. mexicana,
Sambucus caeulea var. mexicana, Sambucus coriacea, Sambucus orbiculata,
Sambucus velutina, Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea and you wonder why we're confused)
Sambucus mexicana tolerates clay and seasonal flooding.
Sambucus mexicana is great for a bird garden.
Foliage of Sambucus mexicana has color green and is deciduous.
Flower of Sambucus mexicana has color yellow.
Fruit of Sambucus mexicana is edible.
Communities for Sambucus mexicana:Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, Freshwater Marsh, Riparian (rivers & creeks) and Central Oak Woodland.