Range: AZ, NM, CO, UT; w. to CA; n. to AK; e. across M-S. & Can. to GA, Ml & Nfld; also Eu. & Asia. Moist places in woods, especially streambanks, 5,000' -12,000'.
This elder, or elderberry, shrub has showy, pyramidal clusters of small, fragrant creamy white blossoms followed by strikingly beautiful, shiny, scarlet berries. The flowers appear in late spring; the fruit iri late summer. Various sources report this species as poisonous; however, Indians ate the berries raw or boiled or made a tea from its roots without apparent ill effects. Jellies, pies and wine are sometimes made from the seedy berries.
Numerous birds and small animals use the berries as a source of food, while moose and deer browse the twigs and foliage, i
Growing to about 5 feet tall, this elder usually has 5 to 7 thin leaflets on each leaf stalk. They have sharply serrated edges alid are dark green and smooth on their upper surfaces, but are soft hairy on the reverse side. The bark is greenish brown to gray brown and smooth, but older stems have raised, warty spots. The young twigs are covered with a fine hair.
The Indians hollowed out the pithy stems to make flutes.
CAUTION: Children have been poisoned by making blowguns, whistles and the like from the stalks and placing them in their mouths.
Arizona Mounta n-ash
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