Sambucus nigra Black Beauty (Gerda)

Black Elder Black Beauty

Perhaps the best of the black-leaved elders, Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla Black Beauty (also called Gerda) is a large, deciduous shrub with a spreading, suckering habit. The leaves are highly ornamental, finely dissected and a rich purplish-black, which does not change in summer, as some black-leaved elders do. In June, dark red buds open to beautiful, broad heads of pale-pink flowers, delightfully scented of lemon; these are very attractive to pollinators, and can be used to make a pink elderflower cordial. The flowers are followed by shiny black berries, loved by birds, and useful for wine-making and jellies. Elder Black Beauty holds the RHS Award of Garden Merit. Cut back hard each spring to keep the shrub compact and the foliage at its best, and then mulch with manure.

Site: Tolerates exposure
Soil: Well drained, moist, reasonably fertile, humus-rich soil
Position: Colours best in full sun, but will also thrive in dappled shade
Season of interest: Spring to autumn
Hardiness: Fully hardy
Height: up to 13’ (4m) Spread: 13’ (4m)

Type | Size: Pot | 2L
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