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Plant Details

Sambucus nigra 'Gerda'

Black Beauty™ Elderberry
Zone: 3a, 3b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Exposure: Part Sun
Height: Minimum 8 feet
Width: Minimum 8 feet
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The best of the purpleleaf elders, BLACK BEAUTY retains its deep burgundy-purple foliage color from spring to fall. This robust shrub can create a dramatic effect in the landscape in just a few years. Once the large, lush leaves emerge in the spring, they are followed in May by lacy, rose-pink flowers. Use BLACK BEAUTY to create an eye-catching backdrop for the perennial border. The leave color is best in full sun, shade will dull the tone. What doesn't look good with its rich foliage? Not much! For a contrast in texture, plant it with Miscanthus sinensis 'Morning Light', Crambe maritima (SEA KALE), Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii (LARGE MEDITERRANEAN SPURGE), Iris foetidissima 'Variegata' (VARIEGATED GLADWYN IRIS), Persicaria polymorpha (GIANT FLEECEFLOWER) or Phlomis russeliana (STICKY JERUSALEM SAGE).

This elderberry grows best in rich well-drained or moist soil, but will adapt to sandy sites or clay and tolerate short periods of standing water. The best and most vigorous growth will occur with regular watering and fertilizing, although it will tolerate more occasional watering during dry weather. Plant it in full sun for the best foliage color. This elderberry will tolerate light to open shade but the purple foliage color will be more muted. A light pruning in winter to remove dead and broken branches and older twiggy stems will keep it looking tidy in the garden. Vigorous growing plants can be cut to the ground every year or two to encourage robust whips of growth that will have the boldest foliage.

(Source: Great Plant Picks)

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Submitted by Sester Farms Inc. on 10/28/2014 12:47 PM

Purple and black foliage. Bold 10" pink flower clusters in midsummer and dark purple, edible berries in late summer.


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2 Nurseries Carry This Plant:

Listing Key

Name City/State Email Phone Prod Type Availability
Rocky Mountain Nursery Independence, OR Email now 503-838-4222 Container: 1
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  • Sester Farms Inc. Gresham, OR Email now 503-663-4844 Container: X Liner: X
  • Availability List