He is a deciduous, 2 – 7 m tall shrub or small tree. His greenery is extended, branches are bending down. The leaves are borne oppositely, leaves are pinnate, composed of 5 - 7 leaflets. The umbels are composed of 5-petaled, off-white flowers, they are located on the shoot-ends. They are pleasantly fragrant. The fruits are shiny black-colored berries with dark purple juice and a relatively big seed that are hanging down from the branches.
Confusion with other plants
The red elderberry mainly live in mountainous regions. The inflorescence is similar to the European elder's, they are both fragrant, and the use of the two species is the same. The red colored ripe fruit of the red elderberry can be confused with unripe fruit of the European elder. It can be identified on one hand on the basis of the habitat, on the other hand on the thorough examination of the fruit umbel. The red elder's mature red fruits are equally red, contrary to the European elder's unripe fruits, that are not homogeneous in color, green to red and black berries can be found in the umbel.