Identification: Excurrent(?) shrub (?) with large opposite pinnate leaves

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest Native Plants' started by wcutler, Aug 7, 2023.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    This is growing in Stanley Park. It's very attractive, yet has a possibly thuggish attitude.
    The plant I noticed first is very straight, with only large opposite pinnate leaves growing off the main bole or stem or trunk. There doesn't seem to be any way for it to get any wider, as there are no side branches, just the compound leaves.

    Then I noticed that there are other individuals around it, but they all seem to be growing from the ground. Or maybe I'm totally wrong, and there is a tree down there and the things I'm seeing are branches, but I didn't see any evidence of that.

    Leaflet margins are entire, and some of the leaflets seemed to be longer than my 20cm handspan. There don't seem to be hairs on it. I think I wasn't able to get any closer to this.
    ExcurrentTreePInnateLeaves_StanleyParkNearCeperleyMeadow_Cutler_20230807_161014.jpg ExcurrentTreePInnateLeaves_StanleyParkNearCeperleyMeadow_Cutler_20230807_161249.jpg
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Pacific red elder.
     
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  3. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Thanks. Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa. So that's why this looks a little familiar. I see a similar habit in my first Sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea photo at https://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/september-11-2015-sambucus.87339/. This is a shrub, so presumably gets bushy looking because of all the new branches from the base, but with these being branches, the term "excurrent" would not apply, is that right? Or can branches be excurrent?

    The leaves make me wonder - Sambucus racemosa - Wikipedia says the 5-7 leaflets would be "up to 16 cm (6+1⁄4 in) long, lance-shaped to narrowly oval, and irregularly serrated along the edges". These leaflets are maybe twice that length, several with 9 leaflets. I did find some evidence of serration, zoomed-in photo attached.
    ExcurrentTreePInnateLeaves_StanleyParkNearCeperleyMeadow_Cutler_20230807_161014c.jpg
     
  4. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Rather surprised it doesn't have any berries.
    When we moved North to Scotland I found growing wild Sambucus racemosa and fell in love with the pyramid shaped flowers and red berries.

    SAMBUCUS  RACEMOSA 07-04-2015 10-19-17.JPG SAMBUCUS  RACEMOSA 07-04-2015 10-19-25.JPG SAMBUCUS  RACEMOSA 07-05-2023 15-12-26.JPG SAMBUCUS  RACEMOSA 21-04-2014 18-28-26.JPG SAMBUCUS  RACEMOSA 21-08-2013 15-41-09.JPG SAMBUCUS  RACEMOSA 21-08-2013 15-44-14.JPG SAMBUCUS  RACEMOSA 21-08-2013 15-44-32.JPG SAMBUCUS  RACEMOSA 25 04 2015 11-017.JPG SAMBUCUS  RACEMOSA 28-08-2013 10-26-27.JPG
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Island County, Washington has treelike examples with elevated crowns and one or a few large trunks clear of branches for some distance. With an individual I measured having been listed as the National Champion by American Forests for a time (it died). It had a single trunk of some girth still unparted at the 4 1/2 ft. level, an associated height well within what could be considered the range for trees.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2023
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  6. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2023
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    It's the Wikipedia link that has Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa as the Pacific red elder name that Ron gave. The USDA reference shows it native across the Canadian provinces and most of the US.
     
  8. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    Maybe I'm wrong but I give more credibility to E-Flora than I do to Wikipedia.
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I said Pacific red elder merely because it presumably popped up on its own in Stanley Park due to being locally native. With there being nothing about it discernible in Wendy's picture to tell otherwise. Kew POWO is going with the version that subsp. pubens grows across North America to the Caucasus and subsp. racemosa is native from Europe to the Caucasus only. If accurate this means both grow in the same Europe to Caucasus region in the Old World part of the range of subsp. pubens. If they are found mixed together on the same growing sites there, then them actually being distinct on the subsp. level seems open to question.

    Sambucus racemosa L. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2023
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That sounds odd - the usual interpretation (e.g. USDA GRIN) is as follows:
    subsp. racemosa: Europe, Caucasus
    subsp. pubens: North America (and not Europe)
    subsp. sibirica: Northern Asia except as below
    subsp. kamtschatica: Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Hokkaido
    subsp. sieboldiana: Japan (except Hokkaido), Korea

    I'd agree the plant in the original query can be assumed to be subsp. pubens.
     
  11. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    BC (BC Conservation Data Centre), WA (Washington Flora), and OR (Oregon Flora) are all in agreement:

    Sambucus racemosa L. [HC, HC2]
    red elder
    var. arborescens (Torr. & A. Gray) A. Gray [HC, HC2, VPBC1]
    coast red elderberry

    Synonyms:
    Sambucus pubens Michx. var. arborescens Torr. & A. Gray
    Sambucus racemosa L. var. racemosa [JPM2], misapplied
     
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  13. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Yes - it's yet another taxon where everyone is not on the same page. And where the Kew POWO determinations about it are not going to be greeted with universal acceptance. Same as with their change to Picea glauca and so on through the list.
     
  14. Margot

    Margot Renowned Contributor 10 Years

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    I wrote to E-Flora BC last night to ask for clarification about the correct name for Sambucus species in BC, not really even expecting an answer, but Brian Klinkenberg replied this morning.

    PS When he says, “Just as a quick note—the ‘species’ is Sambucus racemose . . . “, I think perhaps his computer autocorrected ‘racemosa’ like it keeps doing on mine.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    E-Flora bases its taxonomic nomenclature on the BC CDC. They base their decisions on both NatureServe Explorer and on a local team of experts that weigh in on complex species.

    As such, I recommend that you contact the BC CDC as they would be the definitive source for such information. (As Daniel already did.)

    Just as a quick note—the ‘species’ is Sambucus racemose, which has multiple varieties present throughout its range (such as the three in BC). The ‘var. racemosa’ is the nominotypical subspecies (or, in this case, the variety).

    “When a species is considered to contain subspecies, the subspecies that contains the name-bearing type of the nominal species is denoted by the same species-group name as the species, with the same author and date [Art. 46.1]; this subspecies is termed the nominotypical subspecies.”

    https://code.iczn.org/species-group...pecies is termed the nominotypical subspecies.

    (So, if no subspecies or varieties are recognized, there won’t be a nominotypical subspecies.)
     
  15. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I'm making this up, but I think what this means is that since Sambucus racemosa L. var. racemosa [JPM2] is considered a synonym, JPM2 doesn't get to give it the name of a nominal species (use the var. racemosa in the name).
     
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  16. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Misapplied means others are using that name for this entity, but it actually refers to something else. That there is a var. arborescens automatically means there is a var. racemosa somewhere.

    The Sambucus treatment in Flora of North America isn't yet published, it has been written and is under review, though: http://floranorthamerica.org/Volumes_under_Production (bottom of the page)

    Looking up some of the botanical work by one of the writers of the upcoming treatment, he was involved as a determiner of this specimen from Mississippi, https://www.midwestherbaria.org/portal/collections/individual/index.php?occid=24825509 , as Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa (though in 2014)

    That suggests to me that the North American treatment may end up dropping the subspecies appellations and only recognize a few varieties, as has been done in the recent treatments in Washington and Oregon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2023
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  17. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I wonder if part of the problem over names is that (surprisingly!) there are still a few antediluvian botanists who don't even understand, or accept, the rank of subspecies at all. Saw this with a recent paper on the Pinus ponderosa complex, which raised subspp. scopulorum and brachyptera to species rank, and reduced subsp. benthamiana to varietal rank: not once in the entire paper is the concept of subspecies even mentioned, let alone considered and accepted or rejected.
     
  18. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    He seems to be using the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature there! Big "Oooops"!! Though the botanical code does include ± similar provisions.
     
  19. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Since everyone seems to agree that Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens is the name of a local elder, and it's the same as Sambucus pubens var. arborescens, and the first name is on E-flora BC, I'm using that.

    A lot of exciting things happened today. First of all, I was wrong on two descriptive details, actually three.
    The leaflets are serrated. And there are hairs.
    Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-endAzaleaWalk_Cutler_20230809_144020.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-endAzaleaWalk_Cutler_20230809_144343.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-endAzaleaWalk_Cutler_20230809_144352.jpg

    Here is a photo demonstrating a leaflet size. My hand span is 20cm, 8 inches.
    Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-endAzaleaWalk_Cutler_20230809_143802.jpg

    At least six leaves had misshapen leaflets at the apex. I don't know that this has anything to do with anything.
    Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-endAzaleaWalk_Cutler_20230809_144113.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-endAzaleaWalk_Cutler_20230809_144133.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-endAzaleaWalk_Cutler_20230809_144321.jpg

    Here is a miscellaneous detail, but it's consistent with trunk details in the group of photos at the end.
    Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-endAzaleaWalk_Cutler_20230809_143357.jpg

    The gate to the maintenance area was open; standing inside hoping to see head gardener Dave, I noticed this shrub, clearly the same, with a single infructescence, leaves smaller though still oversized.
    Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-PnP at Maint Area_Cutler_20230809_144848.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-PnP at Maint Area_Cutler_20230809_144944.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-PnP at Maint Area_Cutler_20230809_145129.jpg

    But there were branches (third thing I learned)! With small leaves. And the young leaves had lots of hairs.
    Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-PnP at Maint Area_Cutler_20230809_145217.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_StanleyPark-PnP at Maint Area_Cutler_20230809_145226.jpg

    I did get to see Dave, first time in two years, who confirmed that this is Sambucus, and he also put me onto a tree draping over the path, just a bit beyond the first individual posted here. A few years ago I wondered what this was. Now I wish I could find my photos, probably even some with flowers or fruits. If anyone knows of a desktop app like the phones have that will find photos on the device similar to a selected photo, I want to know about it.
    So back to the subject at hand, Dave said that there are several of these around, he did not plant them, but every few years cuts some of them back, and they eventually will branch out. Which makes me a lot happier about the "arborescens" part of the name. I don't know if it didn't flower this year or it's finished.
    Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_Tree_StanleyPark-end Azalea path_Cutler_20230809_150210.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_Tree_StanleyPark-end Azalea path_Cutler_20230809_150213.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_Tree_StanleyPark-end Azalea path_Cutler_20230809_150309.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_Tree_StanleyPark-end Azalea path_Cutler_20230809_150319.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_Tree_StanleyPark-end Azalea path_Cutler_20230809_150405.jpg Sambucus racemosa var. arborescens_Tree_StanleyPark-end Azalea path_Cutler_20230809_150526.jpg

    I'm wondering if the oversized leaves are a similar phenomenon as happens on Paulownia when it's cut down year after year - the leaves grow to something like four times the normal size. The first two areas photographed here have no doubt been cut down, and the new growth is oversized, not at all to be taken as representative of the normal plants.
     
  20. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Bing automatically provides pages of similar photos when an image search is done.
     

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