Elderberry shrubs flourish in the Anza Valley

Tiny clusters of white elderberry flowers quickly develop into small, blue to black edible fruits. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Lush clusters of dainty white flowers droop from healthy green shrubs throughout the Anza Valley. Blue elderberry bushes are in full bloom, and berries are starting to ripen, providing tasty food for people, birds, mammals and insects. The blue elderberry, Sambucus nigra, subspecies caerulea syn. Sambucus mexicana, is also known as the Mexican elderberry and is common in the region. It grows as a deciduous shrub, ranging from Oregon to Baja California, Mexico. It’s close relative, the red elderberry, can be found in more coastal habitats.  The blue elderberry is a fast growing, multi-trunked large shrub or small tree that can grow to a maximum height of about 30 feet. The leaves are divided into one to six long, toothed leaflets. Large clusters of pretty white flowers develop in t
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