- Leaves opposite or whorled, with stipules and interpetiolar ridge.
- Leaves simple, opposite or whorled, a pair of glandular teeth on margin near base or.
- Pinnately compound, basal leaflets lobed.
- Interpetiolar ridge.
- Small flowers in flat-topped inflorescences, 5-parted, fused white corolla, 5 stamens, inferior ovary.
- Fruit a small black berry.
Diagnosis: 1. Trees, leaves simple, opposite or whorled, without stipules, a pair of nectar glands (modified teeth) on leaf margin above base. 2. Small trees, leaves opposite and odd-pinnate, leaflets serrate, the basal leaflets often lobed or divided into three.
|Bignoniaceae||(Tecoma): like Sambucus, but basal leaflets not lobed.
|Verbenaceae||: twigs quadrangular, nectar glands on blade at extreme base.
Diversity: Total: 2 genera, 4 species. Trees: 2 genera, 4 species.
Comments: Sambucus is cultivated and occasionally escapes. Although native populations occur in the Talamanca mountains to the south, they have not been found in the Cordillera de Tilaran.