Black elder Sambucus nigra 'Marginata' Photo/Illustration: Allan Mandell 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 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 Related Plants to Sambucus nigra 'Marginata' 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Black elder Sambucus nigra 'Madonna' 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Hedgehog rose Rosa rugosa var. alba 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Hedgehog rose Rosa 'Blanc Double de Coubert' 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 European red elder Sambucus racemosa ‘Sutherland Gold’ View the discussion thread.