by Stephen Mifsud
   19 Sep 2019      ()
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Sambucus nigra   (Common Elder)

Sambucus nigra   (CAPRIFOLIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Nomenclature and Basic Information Images
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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Sambucus nigra retrieved from on 2019-Sep-19

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Sambucus nigra L.
Published in L., Sp. Pl. 269 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

No Main Synonyms
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Caprifoliaceae Juss. (The Honeysuckle Family)
14 species from the Caprifoliaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Common Elder

Maltese name(s) :

Sebuqa Kbira, Sambuka

Status for Malta :

Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 and spreads to form established, non-invasive populations. It may become become invasive

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte (high trees usually over 10m )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Protected by law: schedule II of legal notice LN200/2011. (Trees protected in selected areas)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:


Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Data will be available in the next update of this website.

Botanical Description:

Shrub or small tree up to 10 m, with brownish-grey, sulcate, corky bark and whitish pith. Stems often with vigorous, erect shoots from base; branches often arching. Leaflets 5-7(-9), 4.5-12(-18) x 2-6(-10) cm, ovate, ovate-lanceolate or ovate-elliptical, acuminate, serrate, sparsely pubescent beneath. Stipules absent or very small, subulate. Inflorescence 10-24 cm in diameter, corymbose, with (4-)5 primary rays. Corolla white. Anthers yellowish-white. Fruit globose, black (very rarely red).

Chromosome number:


Distributional range:

Most of Europe except the extreme north.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

All except the Balaeric Islands, Crete, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Russia and former USSR, Svalbard archipelago, but only naturalized in Finland, Norway, Sweden

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

Ab(A N) AE(G) Al Ar Au(A L) Az Be(B L) BH dBl Br Bu By Cg Co Cr Cs Ct dCy Da Ga(C F) Ge Gg(A D G) Gr Hb(E N) He Ho Hs(A S) Hu It Jo Lt Lu Mo Po Rf(C CS K S) Rm Sa dSi(M) Si(S) Sk Sl Sr Tu(A E) Uk(K) [nAg nAz(C F G J L M P S T) aBe(B) nBr aCa Ca(C) aCr Es nFe IJ aIr La cLe LS nMa Md(M) nNo nSu cSy nTn]

Images (12 images)
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-0.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-1.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-2.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-3.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-4.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-5.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-6.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-7.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-8.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-9.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-10.
   Sambucus nigra   -   Image Code: SMBNG-11.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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