Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa
family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)
náhkȯhestaahtsémenȯtse ?, "bear-branch-berries" (Petter 1915: 700)
Red elderberry is erect shrub up to 4 m tall. Shoots are pale brown, with cinnamon-brown pulp inside. Leaves are 10 to 25 cm long, composite, odd pinnate, having 5 to 7 leaflets. The leaflets are ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, 5 to 15 cm long, 15 to 35 mm wide, serrate, above dark green and hairless, underneath light green, with hairy veins. Flowers are yellowish green, in 4 to 6 cm long panicles. Red elderberry blossoms in April. Fruits are vermilion red, round, 6 mm large. They rippen from September to October. Fresh fruits have stringent taste. Red elderberry grows along streams, in wetlands, and on moist, open places in the forests, from the lower to middle levels. It ranges from New Foundland to the southern Alaska, on the south to California, Arizona, New Mexico, southeast Colorado, Southern Dakota, Missouri, Tennessee, and Northern Carolina. Also in temperate Europe and Asia.
Probably as early as Cheyennes lived in the Woodlands, red elderberry was one of the most important berry-producing plant for the Cheyenne sustenance. Cheyennes continued in the gathering of the elderberries also on the Plains (Moore 1996: 57).
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