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Sambucus (nigra)

Wayne Crowder
Assistant Manager
USDA NRCS - Pullman Plant Materials Center
Room 211H Hulbert Hall
Pullman, Washington 99164
509-335-2940 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Caprifoliaceae
Family Common Name: Honeysuckle
Scientific Name: Sambucus nigra L. cerulea (Raf.) R. Bolli
Common Synonym: Sambucus cerulea Raf.
Common Name: blue elderberry
General Distribution: Valley bottoms and open slopes from near sea level to moderate mountain elevations from southern British Columbia to western Montana, south to California, Arizona and New Mexico (Hitchcock, et al. 1959)
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: container
Time To Grow: 0
Target Specifications: good container plugs with roots holding potting medium together well.
Propagule Collection: Collect fruit in September in Pullman, WA. Clean fruit and air dry seed prior to storage.
Propagule Processing: Mascerate fruit and float pulp away from seeds. We used a blender to mascerate small lots of fruit.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds do not require scarification. They do require cold moist artificial stratification with .001 Molar Gibberellic Acid (GA 3) for at least 60 days to achieve 70% germination in 60 days after planting. Seed dormancy is caused by a germination inhibitor, abscisic acid.
References: (1) Clancy, Janet H. and J.D. Maguire. Absiscic acid content in developing blue elderberry seed. J. Seed Technology. 4: 34-42, 1979.

(2) Clancy, Janet H. and J.D. Maguire. Seed dormancy in blue elderberry. J. Seed Technol. 4: 24-33, 1979.

(3) Hitchcock, C.L., A. Cronquist, M. Ownbey and J.W. Thompson. Vascular plants of the Pacific Northwest. Univ. of Wash. Press, Seattle, WA. Part 4, 1959.


Crowder, Wayne. 2003. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Sambucus nigra L. plants container; USDA NRCS - Pullman Plant Materials Center Pullman, Washington. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/03/01). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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