About 25 species of perennial herbs or deciduous shrubs or small trees; branches are often thick, with solid pith, and covered with lenticels. Leaves are opposite, compound (pinnate), and leaflets serrate. Flowers are white, small, numerous, 5-parted, 5 stamens, 3 styles, in broad clusters. Fruit is a berry-like drupe, 3-5 seeded. Native to the Northern Hemisphere, east and northwest Africa, South America, eastern Australia, and Tasmania.
Sambucus: a Latin word, possibly from sambuca, a kind of a harp made from Elderberry wood (S. nigra).
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