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Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty'

Common elder

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Key information

Plant type

Deciduous shrub

Flower colour



Flowers, Fruit, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty'

Plant details

Common elder, Sambucus nigra, bears sprays of tiny white flowers in early summer followed by small black fruit which can be cooked and eaten, or used to make a refreshing summer drink.

Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty' has almost black foliage and sweet, lemon scented, pale pink flowers in early summer. Compared to common elder, it's a much more ornamental option. It works well when planted on its own or as part of a hedge.

For best results, grow in moist but well drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Cut plants back after fruiting, if desired.

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Genus: Sambucus

Species: nigra

Cultivar: Black Beauty

Plant type: Deciduous shrub

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers, Fruit, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Dry, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 600cm

Spread: 300cm

Time to take cuttings: July to September

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