Red Elderberry - sc’abtac - (Sambucus racemosa)
Also known by the names Scarlet Elder, and Red-berried Elder this shrub has arching stems that give a global or vase shape form with toothed, lance-shaped leaflets. Small white flowers bloom in conical spikes in April through July, followed by clusters of bright-red pea-sized berries through August.
The berries are edible and medicinal, BUT only if cooked properly to break down the toxic cyanide-inducing glycoside. All other parts of the plant are toxic and should never be consumed, except for the flower. Because of this we urge caution to households with small children as there have been reported cases of toxicity when children merely used the plants stems as peashooters, for one example. The fruits and vegetation of this shrub are however an important food source to a plethora of native wildlife. Red Elderberry can be used for erosion control or for revegetation and can be useful in restoring habitats affected by metal contamination such as smelting or mining sites. Once cooked, it can be used in syrups, jellies, tinctures, teas, and a plethora of other dishes.
*Prefers full sun, partial-shade tolerant
* Prefers moist well-drained soil.
*Suitable in moist landscapes, shady or open forests, streambanks, and moist clearings.
* Up to 20 feet tall and 6 feet in width
*Sold Bare Root
*Sold in bundles of 5
sc’abtac *Lushootseed provided by the Puyallup Tribal Language Program and audio by Chris Briden, Puyallup Tribal member.