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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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Charles D. Bell

[Perennial herb], subshrub to tree; hairs often stellate or glandular. Leaf: generally opposite, simple or compound, generally toothed; stipules generally 0. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx teeth or lobes [2]5; corolla small, radial, rotate, lobes [3–4]5; stamens [4]5, epipetalous; ovary ± inferior, chambers 1 or 3–5, 1-ovuled; styles ± 0 or 3–5. Fruit: drupe.
5 genera, 200 species: especially northern temperate, also South America, southeastern Asia, tropical Africa. [Backlund & Bremer 1997 Plant Syst Evol 207:225–254] Incl in Caprifoliaceae in TJM (1993), and possibly in future. —Scientific Editors: Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged note: Incl in Caprifoliaceae in TJM (1993), and possibly in future according to the Angiosperm Phylogeny Website (, which states, in part, "The whole lot might usefully be combined in a Caprifoliaceae s.l. (see also APG 2003), since similarities between the families are considerable and differences are mostly slight."

Key to Adoxaceae

Generally shrub to small tree, deciduous; main trunk generally 0. Stem: pith large, spongy. Leaf: 1(2)-odd-pinnately compound; leaflets serrate. Inflorescence: panicle of cymes, terminal, generally ± dome-shaped. Flower: ovary chambers 3–5, ovules pendent; style ± 0, stigma lobes 3–5. Fruit: drupe, berry-like. Seed: 3–5.
20 species: temperate, subtropics some cultivated as ornamental. (Greek: for stringed instrument made from wood of genus) Toxic in quantity (except cooked fruits). [Bolli 1994 Diss Bot 223:1–256]

Key to Sambucus

S. nigra L. subsp. caerulea (Raf.) Bolli BLUE ELDERBERRY
Plant 2–8 m, generally as wide as tall. Leaf: leaflets 3–9, 3–20 cm, elliptic to ovate, glabrous to hairy, axis often bowed, base often asymmetric, tip acute to acuminate. Inflorescence: 4–33 cm diam, ± flat-topped; central axis generally not dominant. Flower: petals ± spreading. Fruit: ± black, densely white glaucous (appearing ± blue).
2n=36. Common. Streambanks, open places in forest; < 3000 m. California Floristic Province, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert Mountains; to British Columbia, Utah, New Mexico. [Sambucus caerulea Raf.; Sambucus mexicana C. Presl ex DC., misappl.] Variable, in need of study. Mar–Sep [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Sambucus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015

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click for enlargement Sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea
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2009 Thomas Stoughton

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.