What's going on with this elderberry leaf?

Asked June 17, 2020, 3:41 PM EDT

Hi, the attached pictures show the top and bottom of an elderberry leaf which is curved and red in its center. This is a new plant for me, which I bought dried up and tired at the end of the season last year (that describes it, not me). It has grown like a weed, though there was much dead wood to cut off in early spring. I have other elderberries and have never seen anything like this.

Kalamazoo County Michigan

3 Responses


That looks like some sort of leaf gall but I don't recognize it.


I totally expected to see something larval developing on the underside of the leaf in some sort of web but there is nothing but the relatively smooth red underside. So it didn't feel threatening once I looked under the leaf. Should I remove the leave and dispose of it?

I'm guessing it's a leaf fold gall caused by an eriophyid mite. Leaf galls do not harm the shrub.