Non-technical Pageby Steven D. Glenn
Not peer reviewed
Last modified: 01/25/2013
Deciduous upright shrub to 4 m with thick, spongy-filled stems and twigs and with opposite pinnately-compound leaves; clusters of small white flowers followed by clusters of small red to red-orange ovoid fruits.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for reference and historical use. We do not recommend nor do we condone the use of this species for food purposes without first consulting a physician.
Moerman, 1998 Native Americans used the berries to make sauces, soups, preserves, wine, breads and cakes; and dried the berries for future use.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for reference and historical use. We do not recommend nor do we condone the use of this species for medicinal purposes without first consulting a physician.
Moerman, 1998 Used by native Americans to treat toothaches, stomach pains, liver diseases, aching muscles and feet, rheumatism, and used as an emetic, laxative and purgative, as a lotion for open cuts and sores, by athletes to "draw out all the slime in the system" for enhanced endurance, and to treat evil witchcraft victims.
Is the marked difference in flowering phenology between Sambucus canadensis and S. racemosa the only barrier for hybridization between these two sympatric species?
Moerman, 1998 Native Americans used the hollowed out stems to make pipes and children's blowguns. They also made glue from the fruits or flowers to waterproof cedar bark rain hats.
Burrows, 2001 Although fruits have been used for food and beverage products, ingestion of raw fruit as well as other parts has caused digestive tract problems. Symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and profuse salivation. Other signs occasionally observed include abdominal pain, weakness, dizziness, incoordination, labored respiration, and numbness. Death is unlikely. Generally, adverse affects do not arise when the fruits are cooked or fermented, processes which perhaps denature the tertiary structures of the bioactive constituents.