Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva' (PBR)
black elder (syn. Black Lace)
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of Growth: average
- Flowering period: June
- Flowers: pale pink
- Other features: almost black, dissected leaves and blackish red berries in autumn
- Hardiness: fully hardy
This recent introduction has almost black, dissected foliage and from May to June pale pink, musk-scented blooms emerge from beautiful creamy-pink buds. It makes an excellent shrub for all styles of gardens and has the added bonus of having blackish-red berries in autumn which are attractive to birds and when ripe can be used to make a wonderful wine. 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.
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we planted a small Black Lace at the end of last year (it'a about 2 ft tall) and as newbie gardenner, I'm frightened of pruning it back to the ground, as I've seen suggested in various places, as it seems a bit extreme!
It's mid February just now and I can see some little buds forming - seeing as it's only been in the ground for about 8 months, and is still a fairly young plant, am I best to leave well alone?Asked on 16/2/2015 by lunaestrella from West Yorkshire
I agree with you, I would another year until it is more established before cutting it back hard.
Hope this helps.Answered on 24/2/2015 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:My Sambucus is a good 10ft tall now with abouut 8 ft spread. Had fabulous berries this season. Should I attempt to prune it next spring to bring it back to a more manageable size or leave well alone?Asked on 9/21/2014 by Gillndave from Cambridge
You have two choices. These plants do not require any pruning, apart from removing dead or damaged branches in late winter or early spring, but if you want larger, showier foliage (but no flowers or fruit), then you can cut it back really hard to within 2 or 3 buds from the base each year in early spring.Answered on 9/22/2014 by helen from crocus
Q:does the sambucus black lace look just like sambucus Eva?Asked on 9/17/2014 by already a customer from hampshire
This is the same plant, it is sometimes known as 'Black Lace'.
Hope this helps.Answered on 9/18/2014 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:My specimen of nigra black lace did not flower this season despite cutting down to ground level in spring and mulchinany suggestions to where I went wrong?Asked on 8/1/2014 by F.c b from East Sussex
By cutting it back hard in spring you are encouraging it to put on lots of strong foliage, however if you are growing it for its flowers, then you should not prune it at all.Answered on 8/4/2014 by helen from crocus
Q:Would the Sambucus Nigra tolerate chalk !Asked on 7/24/2014 by Miss plant
Provided the pH is not too high and you incorporate lots of composted organic matter before you plant, it should be fine.Answered on 7/25/2014 by helen from crocus
Q:If the plant is grown in a bed and cut to ground level every Autumn, what will the typical height and spread be?Asked on 7/10/2014 by Kent from Oxted
It is hard to be precise as so many external factors can affect how quickly a plant grows,- how much light, or water it gets, the nutrients in the soil etc. but it could be anything up to 2mt.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 7/16/2014 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:Hello, I bought one of these 5 years ago. At the time it was about 3ft single stem and planted at the back of a border getting partial sun, thinking it would rise up, except it never really has. 5 years on it is only perhaps 4 ft and while showing some leaf and flower does not do a great deal. Should I be pruning back harder or is this just the wrong spot..?Asked on 7/6/2014 by Grumpyjac from N.Hampshire
If the plant is not thriving, it is a sure sign that it is not happy where it is. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why it is not flourishing from your description, but if it is getting a reasonable amount of sun, the soil is not too heavy and reasonably fertile, and you feed and water regularly, then it should start to pick up. As for pruning, I would avoid this until it is actively growing.Answered on 7/8/2014 by helen from crocus
Q:could I grow sambucus in a pot please ?Asked on 7/5/2014 by cymraes from wales
This plant will be happier in the ground, but if you have a very large pot and can make sure it is kept really well fed and watered, then it should be OK.Answered on 7/8/2014 by helen from crocus
Q:I planted black elder at very back of a wide sunny border . It is in shade mostly as still small and the leaves turning green , will they turn black when the plant reaches a height to get full sun most of the day ?Asked on 6/29/2014 by AB from Herefordshire
The foliage that gets a good amount of sun will maintain a good,deep plum colour, but the foliage that is in the shade will fade to greenish bronze.Answered on 7/1/2014 by helen from crocus
Q:I planted a sambucus nigra last year. This year, it has a couple of stems but they are growing horizontally rather than upwards and outwards. Should I stake the stems?Asked on 6/29/2014 by Eileen58 from Near Brighton
If there are spoiling the shape of the plant, then yes I would stake them for now and then cut them back hard in the winter.Answered on 7/1/2014 by helen from crocus
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