California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Sambucus mexicana - Mexican Elderberry

Sambucus mexicana is known as natures medicine chest. The berries can be mixed into tea and are good for rheumatism. The creamy white flowers can be used as a vanilla substitute and are good when cooked into a tea for purging the body of waste. Large quantities of raw fruit may cause a belly ache but once cooked they make a darn good jam. It is probably best to avoid eating the unripe berries. There tends to be a lot of insects in the fruit and flowers. Careful cleaning is advised. Sambucus mexicana is native throughout the West Coast States and in each of the states across our Southern Border as well. Sambucus mexicana tends to grow as a large bush. Selective pruning will be required to make the Mexican Elderberry into a tree though grazing animals do this regularly in a wilder setting. In a pasture the animals will browse the lower branches. Sambucus mexicana tends to grow very quickly and get quite twiggy. I trim the Mexican Elderberry back regularly. Sambucus mexicana has hollow stems that have been made into flute like instruments.

Sambucus mexicana, Mexican Elderberry

Dark purple berries naturally powdered with grey dust - Sambucus mexicana - Mexican Elderberry naturally growing here in California. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.