If you're seeing clusters of bright red berries on a large shrub this time of year, you are probably seeing Sambucus racemosa L. var. racemosa, or red elderberry. Native to most of the US, this attractive, mid sized shrub grows 10-20' and gets umbels of white flowers in spring followed by the red berries. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Although not edible when raw, the berries can be made into wine and are a favorite of birds and mammals.
Due to its size and characteristics, Sambucus racemosa is a good option for use in both traditional or natural landscapes .
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Photo courtesy of Diane Albright
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