Black elder

Sambucus nigra 'Marginata'

Photo/Illustration: 
Allan Mandell
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Black elder (Sambucus nigra 'Marginata')
sam-BOO-kus NY-grah
Genus:  Sambucus
This vigorous cultivar has attractive dark green leaves with yellow margins that fade to white. In summer, it bears flattened clusters of creamy white flowers which mature in fall to glossy black fruit. Plants grow 10-20 feet tall and wide.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Sambucus is suitable for mixed or shrub borders or for naturalizing in wild areas; this variegated cultivar is effective as a specimen. Its fruits have culinary attributes when cooked, but can cause illness if eaten raw, or if the poisonous seeds are consumed.
Care:  Provide moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil, in full sun to partial shade. Sambucus may be pruned minimally to maintain a healthy framework, but it benefits from hard pruning to restrict its size. Cultivars such as this that are grown for their foliage may be cut back to the ground annually in late winter or early spring.
Propagation:  Take softwood cuttings in early summer.
Problems:  Powdery mildew, canker, dieback, rust, fungal leaf spots, borers, virus diseases.

Overview

Height
15 ft. to 30 ft.
Spread
15 ft. to 30 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Fast Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Attracts Birds,
Attracts Butterflies,
Fragrant Flowers,
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Fruit
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
White Flower
Foliage Color
Variegated Foliage
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Flowering Tree,
Hedge,
Poisonous,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Style
Cottage Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Shrubs

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