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The Plant Guide

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Black Beauty™ elderberry

Sambucus nigra 'Gerda'

sam-BOO-kus NY-grah

Valued for its flowers, foliage, and fruit, Black Beauty™ elderberry is a deciduous shrub that requires regular watering during its first few yearsbut will become more drought tolerant as it becomes established. Areas with moist soil are ideal. Black Beauty™ will grow 8 feet tall if left unpruned, but fairly severe pruning in the first year will keep the plant from looking leggy. Pruning will sacrifice the large pink flowers, but the plant will be much sturdier and have a better habit if you do. The flowers, which bloom in June, are large and have a lemony scent. The foliage is dark and finely cut. Elderberries are edible and can be used to make juice or jelly, if the birds don’t get there first. -Teresa Smith, Regional Picks: Northeast, Fine Gardening issue #120

Noteworthy CharacteristicsDark foliage; large, pink, fragrant flowers; attracts birds.

CareProvide full sun and moist, but well-drained soil. Water regularly the first few years.

PropagationSeparate rooted suckers.

ProblemsCanker, powdery mildew, leaf spot, borers, spider mites and aphids may affect plants.

  • Genus : Sambucus
  • Zones : 6, 7, 8
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Plant Width : 6 to 10 feet
  • Foliage Color : Black
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Showy Foliage, Showy Fruit
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium to Wet
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
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Comments

  1. christophermorgangilcrest 11/21/2014

    very nice deep purple or black foliage and contrasting pink flowers http://www.growquestgrowers.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SamNigBlkBty5Ca

  2. user-7007960 07/01/2017

    Are berries produced? Or if flowers trimmed, no fruit?

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