Elder, Dwarf

Information on Dwarf Elder

Common Name: Dwarf Elder
Scientific Name: Sambucus ebulus
Irish Name: Tromán
Family Group: Adoxaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Dwarf Elder could sometimes be confused with:


Forming dense stands in hedgerows, on rough ground and woodland margins, Dwarf Elder is a large perennial which grows to a height of 1.5m. It bears dense umbels (6-10cm across) of small, white, 5-petalled flowers (3-5mm across) on stout, erect, grooved stems. Occasionally tinged pink, these flowers have purple anthers.The leaves are pinnate in 7-13 sharply-toothed leaflets, oblong-lanceolate and at their base are oval stipules. The fruit is a small fleshy berry, black when ripe. Dwarf Elder is an introduced shrub which is scattered throughout Ireland. It flowers from June to August and belongs to the Adoxaceae or Moschatel family. 

I first saw and photographed this plant near Loop Head in Co Clare while recording with Stephen Ward, BSBI Joint Vice-county Recorder for the county. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Whilst the flowers of Dwarf Elder are pleasantly scented, the leaves have a strong, unpleasant smell. 

Elder, Dwarf
Elder, Dwarf
Elder, Dwarf
Elder, Dwarf