Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle fily) Mostly evergreen ornamental tree

Mexican Elder

SOUTHWEST PLANT  OF THE MONTH – October 2016

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle family) Mostly evergreen ornamental tree Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle family)
Mostly evergreen ornamental tree/>

Mexican Elder
sambucus mexicana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle family)
Mostly evergreen ornamental tree
HEIGHT: 10-15 feet but known to reach 35 feet
SPREAD: 10-15 feet
FINAL SPACING: 10-15 feet

NATURAL HABITAT AND PREFERRED SITE: Fast growing trees and reach heights of around 20 feet in the desert Southwest. These small shade trees are great for patio gardens and Southwestern landscapes.

IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION: Mexican elder is a beautiful small tree that is usually evergreen but sometimes drops its leaves during hot summers if not watered regularly. The tree is relatively drought tolerant. It has a nice flower display primarily in early summer and in the fall. It also has berries that are attractive and eaten by birds.

FLOWERS AND FRUIT: Flowers are clusters of white to pale yellow and bloom primarily in early summer and in the fall. The small fruit are clusters of dark blue or black berries and attract several species of birds. When the fruit is fully ripe it is covered with a dense white bloom.

BARK: Young bark is smooth but the main trunks become furrowed with age.

FOLIAGE: The leaves are primarily evergreen except when drought causes partial defoliation. Leaves have 3-7 leaflets that are serrated (toothed) except at the base and point. Both sides are green and the texture ranges from smooth to fuzzy.