Please try our next iteration of the Michigan Flora Online here. Beginning on February 1, 2023, will point to this new site.

The new site offers several benefits over the existing website, including real coordinate mapping, giving a clearer view of the density of documentation as well as more precision about plant distributions and their link to landforms. We will also have the ability to update species pages more regularly, both in terms of new collections and as more existing Michigan specimens are georeferenced. In addition, we have a better photo display, and offer indented keys.


The pith occupies a large portion of the stem diameter and hence the distinguishing color is easy to see at all times of the year. However, the pith of the current year’s growth cannot be relied upon; it may be light brown or “off-white” in both species. The corollas are rotate, i.e., flat with a very short tube, as in Viburnum.

1. Pith white (sometimes a little brown at the edges); mature fruit purple-black; inflorescence distinctly broader than long and ± flat-topped, blooming in early to mid-summer and fruiting in late summer to fall; lowest node of inflorescence with 4–5 (–7) rays.

S. canadensis

1. Pith tan or orange-brown on branches 1 year or more old; mature fruit red; inflorescence about as long as broad or up to 1.5 times as long, ± pyramidal or elongate, blooming in early spring and fruiting in early to late summer (depending on latitude); lowest node of inflorescence with 3 rays (main axis and 2 branches).

S. racemosa

All species found in Sambucus

Sambucus canadensisCOMMON ELDER, ELDERBERRY 


MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. January 29, 2023.