Tom's Blog

Monday, September 15, 2008

American elderberry

American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) berries are now ripe. We have lots of elderberry bushes, mainly in the more closed areas of our savannas, and this year they have really flourished. The berries are literally dripping off the stems, and if you aren't careful your hands turn purple.

Two years ago we had a striking fungus disease of our elderberries, and the causal agent was identified by the U.W. Plant Pathology Clinic as Puccinia bolleyana. We actually had most of our elderberries near our wetland killed off by this fungus, although at our upland sites it was much less serious. The photo here was taken in Unit 21, which seems to be rust-free. This unit is a north-facing woods on a steep hill. There are lots of elderberry bushes here, and they are all full of berries.

It was interesting to me that we had a very good burn through the area where these bushes have done so well. I assume that because it was north-facing, the fire was not too hot, so the bushes were not top-killed.


Blogger Emily said...

That photo looks pretty good, though I would love to see how much that elderberry moves around in the wind. I wonder how that could be done, perhaps with some imbedded video???? :)

September 15, 2008 at 7:55 PM  

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