A BRIEF REVIEW OF RECENT CONTROVERSIES IN THE TAXONOMY AND NOMENCLATURE OF SAMBUCUS NIGRA SENSU LATO
The genus Sambucus is widespread and morphologically difficult, and as a result, no taxonomic treatment to date has been entirely satisfactory. The only modern revision, by Bolli, reduced the number of recognized species worldwide from over 30 to nine. In Bollis treatment, five taxa formerly considered to be distinct species, including S. canadensis, S. cerulea, S. peruviana, and the endemic island taxa S. maderensis and S. palmensis, were placed within S. nigra as subspecies. Available data relating to these taxa are briefly reviewed. It is suggested that, while the recognition of the American elder as S. nigra subsp. Canadensis is reasonable, S. cerulean and possibly S. peruviana would be better treated as distinct species; the best classification of the other two taxa remains uncertain. The preferred family assignment for Sambucus is Adoxaceae, though the name of this family may change in future depending upon the ultimate disposition of published nomenclatural proposals now in process.
Applequist, W.L. (2015). A BRIEF REVIEW OF RECENT CONTROVERSIES IN THE TAXONOMY AND NOMENCLATURE OF SAMBUCUS NIGRA SENSU LATO. Acta Hortic. 1061, 25-33
American elder, blue elder, European elder, Sambucus canadensis, Sambucus cerulean