Blue Elderberry


Maria Cecilia Freeman

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea


18″ x 14″


Maria Cecilia Freeman lives, gardens, paints and teaches in Santa Cruz, where she finds or grows many of her plant subjects. Her work includes scientific illustration and botanically accurate fine art, often combining the two in graphite and watercolor studies. She takes a special interest in portraying native plant species with a view to their preservation. Her work has appeared in solo and juried exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. She is an Alcatraz and Filoli Florilegium artist.

The nutritious fruits of the native Blue Elderberry are actually black, but covered in a powdery bloom that makes them appear light blue; both colors are indicated in its botanical name Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea. They are an important source of food and shelter for wildlife and many birds. Blue Elderberry is the host plant for the threatened Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle and is therefore protected itself.

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