plant monday – elderberry ‘black lace’

Plant of the week –
Common Name: elderberry ‘black lace’
Botanical Name: sambucus nigra

I have fallen in love with this gorgeous shrub. It reminds me of a Japanese Maple with its intense purple-black, thin foliage, but also has a beautiful cluster of pink flowers. In the fall, this shrub produces blackish-red berries which can be harvested for making elderberry jam and wine. The berries also make a lovely statement in the winter if left in place and will attract wildlife.
‘Black Lace’ is very cold hardy and fairly easy to grow, adapts well to any soil conditions and can be used as a dramatic accent plant, planted en masse for a trouble free tall hedge, or incorporated in with mixed perennials.

Description – deciduous shrub 
Hardiness Zone – 4-8
Exposure – full sun
Mature Height – 8 ft
Bloom Time – mid-summer
Bloom Colour – creamy pink
Scent –  I have heard there is a slight lemon scent from the flowers, but I haven’t read anything that confirms it


photo credit – proven winners
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10 thoughts on “plant monday – elderberry ‘black lace’

  1. Wow, Elderberries are pretty. I don’t think I have ever seen one since we can’t grow them in coastal Southern California, in zone 10. Looking at a picture, I would have guessed it was an ornamental, not an edible.

  2. that would have been AMAZING in my garden when we lived in our big old Victorian! wow! what a stunning plant!
    (I really love your “Plant Monday” and “Past Plants” category for cataloging them! great concept!)

  3. Sighhhhh . . . This is one that I planted in my garden just about 6 months before we discovered we were moving across the country. I hope it’s thriving for the new homeowner back there, because I’m pretty sure it would be too fragile for Texas heat! Thanks for sharing this exquisite beauty.

  4. Okay….I am in love. This is an absolute beauty! Those delicate flowers! What incredible color and contrast with the foliage! Adding to my wish list for when I someday miraculously have the money for a place in the country with some land…

  5. Hi

    Can you alter the photo credit on the image of Sambucus ‘Black Lace’. It may have reached you via proven winners but the original image was taken from my blog, is my copyright – (c) John Richmond 2011 / www,tibouchinapublishing.co.uk – and has been used without my permission or licensed through my photo agency, Alamy. I am not greatly concerned about limited usage by another blogger but I am concerned to avoid this image becoming yet another ‘orphan work’, circulated freely in the nursery trade without compensation to the original photographer.

    And, yes, it is a beautiful plant. But the best foliage comes from hard pruning in spring – which means you lose the flowers. Decisions, decisions. (I cut it back one year in three.)

    John Richmond

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