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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Q:I had a acer dissectum dwarf crimson queen. for nearly 40 years this year it has not come into leaf and is dead. can the sambucus black lace be pruned to the dwarf mushroom shape that my lovely tree was. I like its leaves and colour etc. does it have to be cut down every year to ground level -I'm not woried about the flowers - to replace the acer would be years to get to the size as mine was and we wont be here to see it !!Asked on 17/4/2015 by painterb from Kent UK
I'm afraid nothing will have such an elegant shape as the Acer, but the Sambucus will remain more compact if it is cut back each year.Answered on 21/4/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:Planted small sambucus Black lace Eva 26.7.14. Leaves are appearing now and it is 1 ft high and does not seem to have grown at all. It is in its own position in a lawn which tends to be wet (lots of moss in grass!) and is south facing. Very disappointing and wondering whether to put in pot? HELP TrudyAsked on 3/4/2015 by biker from Colchester Essex
If the soil is heavy and wet for any length of time, or if the base of the plant is having to compete with the lawn, then it probably would be happier in a large pot.Answered on 8/4/2015 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:I see that the expected height is 3m, spread 2m if unpruned. I want flowers so I wont prune it hard, but can I prune it a bit to keep it a little smaller (I'm not worried about the height but a 2m spread might overpower the border I am planning to put this in)Asked on 31/3/2015 by chalky1 from purley
Yes, if you prune it you can restrict its height, but it may be at the expense of the flowers.Answered on 2/4/2015 by Anonymous from crocus
I have a Black Lace elder that was planted last year. It is now almost the end of March, it about 2 ft tall and has small leaves just started to grow. I need to move it as am having a patio extension - is it safe to move and as I have never pruned it would it be safe to do so or just leave it alone.
ThanksAsked on 22/3/2015 by secretvenus from Winchester
Generally the best time to move deciduous plants is when they are dormant, so I would move it as soon as possible.
I wouldn't prune it hard this year as it is still a young plant, but once it is established in it's new position, you can cut it back hard in the spring but this is often at the expensive of the flowers. Hope this helps.Answered on 26/3/2015 by Anonymous from crocus
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
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