Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva' (PBR)
black elder (syn. Black Lace)
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Never under estimate the power of foliage and the lacy black leaves on this shrub would shine out close to the silver-green foliage of buddlejas or phlomis
- 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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Comments about Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva' (PBR):
Has a reputation to be a bit of a thug, cut to size each year keeps this a lovely plant for the back border.
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Can the flowers and berries from EVA be used in the same way as elderflowers from the common Elder?Asked on 4/11/2016 by websurfer from United Kingdom
Yes the fruits when ripe can be used for cooking or for making wine.Answered on 7/11/2016 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:my sambucus nigrA BLACK LACE HAS LOST ALL ITS LEAVES
SHOULD i PRUNE IT HARD NOW OR LEAVE IT UN TIL THE SPRING,
ARE THEY LONG LIVED PLANTSAsked on 3/10/2016 by STOKES from iow
I am not sure how old your plant is, however as a general rule these plants do tend to be relatively long lived. It does seem strange that yours has already lost all its leaves though, so do check for any signs of verticillium wilt and also make sure the plant is kept well watered (particularly if it has recently been planted). As for pruning, if it was planted this year, then its best to leave it, however if it is well established, cut down half of the stems to ground level and then shorten the remainder by half in winter.Answered on 5/10/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:when is the right time to prune sambucusAsked on 5/9/2016 by Sonya from York.
The best time to prune them is in winter or early spring while they are still dormant.Answered on 28/9/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:I recently bought a Sambucus Nigra Black Lace Eva and planted it a few weeks ago in my front garden which is South facing, in good loamy soil. I water it regularly, however the lower leaves are dying and falling off. There is new growth at the top. It has been quite windy lately and I don't know if the plant is just losing a lot of water through its leaves. Any ideas?Asked on 27/8/2016 by Alison from United Kingdom
Most plants lose their older lower leaves as they put on lots of new growth, so I would not be too concerned unless it is quite extreme. If it is, then it could be caused by a number of things including too much or too little water, too much fertiliser or incorrect planting depth.Answered on 27/9/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:Can this plant be grown in a pot?Asked on 13/7/2016 by Planter from Lancashire
Ultimately this will be happier in the ground, but provided the pot is large enough and you make sure it is kept really well fed and watered, then you should be able to keep it in a pot for a few years.Answered on 20/7/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:when is the best time to prune my sambucus nigra black lace, it usually starts to loose its foliage when it gets cold in autumn and then I cut it right back but I haven't had any flowers this year.Asked on 8/7/2016 by fitbod from essex
If you are growing the plant for its foliage alone, then you can give it a hard prune in early spring, but if you want it to produce flowers as well, then once established, you should cut down half the stems (the older ones) to ground level in winter, and then shorten the remaining stems by half.Answered on 20/7/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:When and what do I feed my samba black lace for best results?Asked on 19/5/2016 by Newby from Midlands
These need a good general purpose fertiliser such as Vitax Q4 or Miracle Gro, which should be applied (following the manufacturers instructions) during the growing season.Answered on 31/5/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:Is it too late to prune my Black Beauty its looking very leggy?Asked on 22/4/2016 by Gemii from Warwickshire
Yes, it is very late, however you could probably still get away with it if you do it soon.Answered on 25/4/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:will this plant be invasive like elder with the white flowers which has both an upright and forming habit? Love the shrub but don't want the problems I have had with elderAsked on 19/3/2016 by Linda from mid-norfolk
No, this is a much better behaved plant than the common elder.Answered on 21/3/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:I have a black elder plant (Black Lace). I am not concerned about how tall it will grow as the said 3 metres is fine, but can I cut it back its width without preventing flowers?Asked on 3/3/2016 by cutsey from carmarthanshire
If you prune in early spring, those stems that you have cut back probably won't flower that year.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 4/3/2016 by Anonymous from crocus
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