Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva' (PBR)

black elder (syn. Black Lace)

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2 litre pot £17.99
in stock
Quantity 1 Plus Minus
Buy Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva' (PBR) black elder (syn. Black Lace): A striking plant with dramatic almost black, dissected foliage

This shrub is deciduous so it will lose all its leaves in autumn, then fresh new foliage appears again each spring.

  • Position: full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil
  • Rate of Growth: average
  • Flowering period: June
  • 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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Eventual height & spread

Notes on Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva' (PBR)

"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"

Excellent service & healthy plant received


The plant arrived promptly & was packed very well. The plant arrived in excellent shape but I cannot report on growth. Was doing ok until arrival of freezing weather & snow! Will know more when spring arrives.




Wonderful plants, from a great company.


This plant was a gift, and she absolutely loves it. It is still looking really healthy, as this lady knows her plants! I can not fault the quality of the plant, or the service you provide. Many thanks.




Arrived in very good condition and is romping away


One of the plants I would not be without

slow but sure

E Sussex


Perfect foil for soft pinks and white plantings


Has a reputation to be a bit of a thug, cut to size each year keeps this a lovely plant for the back border.

Your Lovely Garden



Sambucus nigraf.porphyrophylla'Eva'(PBR)

5.0 4


When to plant


Hello, These are fully hard, so can be planted at any time of the year - provided the ground is not frozen or waterlogged. If you click on the following link, it will take you to our 'when to plant' video, which you may find helpful.


Hello Can the flowers and berries from EVA be used in the same way as elderflowers from the common Elder?


Hello there Yes the fruits when ripe can be used for cooking or for making wine.



Hello, 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.


when is the right time to prune sambucus


Hello, The best time to prune them is in winter or early spring while they are still dormant.


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?


Hello, 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.


Can this plant be grown in a pot?


Hello, 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.


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.


Hello, 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.


When and what do I feed my samba black lace for best results?


Hello, 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.


Is it too late to prune my Black Beauty its looking very leggy?


Hello, Yes, it is very late, however you could probably still get away with it if you do it soon.


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 elder


Hello, No, this is a much better behaved plant than the common elder.


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