Eventual height & spread
Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Gerda' (PBR)
black elder ( syn. Sambucus Black Beauty )
- available to order from autumn
- 2 litre pot
This shrub is deciduous so it will lose all its leaves in autumn, then fresh new foliage appears again each spring.
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: June
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This fantastic variety of elder has intense, black-burgundy foliage and sweet, lemon-scented, pale pink flowers in early summer, opening from dark red buds. Darker than other varieties, it makes an excellent ornamental plant for a site in sun or partial shade. As an added bonus the purple-black autumn fruits are highly attractive to songbirds. For best foliage colour grow it in full sun, otherwise it can fade to a greenish-bronze.
- Garden care: To achieve the best foliage effect cut back to ground level each year in early spring and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.