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Black Lace® Elderberry Sambucus nigra

  • Part Sun to Sun
  • Sun

The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

Flower Season
  • Fall
Mature Size
96" 96"
72 - 96"
72 - 96"
  • Details


    Black Lace® elderberry is a perfectly stylish addition to your landscape.

    Intense purple black foliage is finely cut like lace, giving it an effect similar to that of Japanese maple. Indeed, some designers are using it in place of more sensitive plants since Black Lace is extremely durable and adaptable. Pink flowers in early summer contrast with the dark leaves for a stunning effect and give way to black berries if a compatible pollinator is planted nearby. Awards: Silver Medal, Royal Boskoop Horticulture Society.

    Top reasons to grow Black Lace® elderberry:

    - unique lacy black foliage is unlike anything else in the landscape

    - pink flowers in early summer look chic against the black foliage

    - tough and adaptable plant grows in a range of challenging conditions


    Best Seller
    Produces Berries
    Foliage Interest
    Fall Interest


    Plant Type: 
    Shrub Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    72 - 96 Inches
    84 - 108 Inches
    72 - 96 Inches
    Flower Colors: 
    Flower Shade: 
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    Container Role: 

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Sun to Sun
    Light Requirement: 
    Maintenance Category: 
    Blooms On: 
    Old Wood
    Bloom Time: 
    Early Summer
    Hardiness Zones: 
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
    Water Category: 
    Border Plant
    Specimen or Focal Point
    Uses Notes: 

    This beautiful, versatile shrub works in just about any landscape setting or as a potted shrub on the patio. Good in groupings or masses, or perennial and shrub borders. Makes a nice specimen or screen. Good in wet soils.

    PLEASE NOTE: To produce berries, you'll need a Black Beauty®, Instant Karma®, or Laced Up® elderberry as a pollinator

    Maintenance Notes: 

    According to the Humane Society of America, elderberry can be toxic to pets if consumed.

    Best in moist soil although will tolerate dry soils. Thrives under acid or alkaline soils. Best if pruned immediately after blooming. May be pruned to the ground each year and grown like a perennial. Fertilize in early spring by applying a granular fertilizer formulated for trees and shrubs. Follow the label for the recommended rate of application.

    The color on Black Lace elderberry is best in cool climates; in hot areas, it may grow primarily green foliage.

    Black Lace® Sambucus nigra 'Eva' USPP 15,575, Can 2,633
  • 72 Reviews

    • This is one homely plant when it's young and struggling in zone 5. I'm hoping this takes off soon because it looks quite raggedy after only a year in the ground. Lots of dying branches and very sparse.

      , New York
      , United States
      , 9 weeks ago
    • Christine Mick
      , Ontario
      , Canada
      , 12 weeks ago
    • Bought two 5 years ago and they struggle every year. I’m in a zone 5 south of Montreal and very disappointed. They make new leaves every spring on the few stems I have from the previous year, then they wilt. I cut the dead poles back and they struggle along. Am pulling them this year.

      Margo Pfeiff
      , Quebec
      , Canada
      , 14 weeks ago
    • I've grown these for years and was surprised to see the reviews that indicated that the plant has struggled in zones 5 or less. We are growing it in a Zone 4b and it has thrived, and as well I've sold it to customers in a zone 3b, higher up in the mountains, and it has thrived up there as well. Overall, it has been very easy to care for and has several uses. I've grown it in areas where it gets no pruning and it can get large and it's absolutely beautiful. I'm also growing it as a 4' hedge where I cut it back to 10" tall each winter and it'll grow to around 4' tall every summer. And we have one that we've pruned the lower branches off of to make it look more like a small tree. Great plant. Has thrived in our high pH (pH of 8) and has tolerated our native, heavy clay soils well.

      The Gardening Moose
      , Utah
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
    • I planted two of these nearly two years ago. One has grown larger each year, a good 4-5x's bigger, but the other grew at half the rate. I think the difference was the smaller one was planted very close to a black walnut tree. The larger one is thriving, very beautiful.

      , Missouri
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
    • Planted north facing beside our porch 6 years ago and has been beautiful ever since. Very showy, hearty plant. Has grown much taller than we even expected but took a hardy but back very well last year.

      Candace E Cronin
      , Ontario
      , Canada
      , 1 year ago
    • I planted two four years ago in SE WI - zone 5/6 and they struggled after the first winter. We also have a deer problem and they have their way with them each late winter/early spring. This spring, I do not think they are alive anymore. They kept getting smaller each year. Love their look but they cannot grow here.

      Barb B.
      , Wisconsin
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
    • I purchased five of these and only three survived the first winter (zone 5a). What I found interesting is that the garden center where I purchased them said he had heard these had a tough time surviving in our zone and would get smaller and struggle each year, if they survived at all. I found that odd since they are hardy to zone 4. But it seems he was correct. I purchased them anyway because of the way they look and I wanted elderberries. Fast forward to the second season and the 3 remaining plants and they barely have one stem each. I was so excited for these plants but they truly disappointed. I am a avid gardener (over 30 years) used to do professional landscaping and used to own a garden center but I could not grown these in my zone. I am guessing these will not survive the winter.

      Melissa S
      , Michigan
      , United States
      , 2 years ago
    • Did not last long, I followed the instructions on how to grow, and it failed to thrive, has not rebloomed any leaves this year, and I am unsatisfied , and unhappy.

      , Canada
      , 2 years ago
    • I live in Scotland and this plant performs really well, considering our sometimes bad winters. This is the second time I have purchased "Black Lace" as we moved home and I had to leave my original one. I also have "Black Lady and a really beautiful Sambucas Sutherlands Gold. The Black Lace sits beside the Sutherlands Gold and the foliage of both intermingle with great effect as both have the lacy foliage.

      Jenni Rutherford
      , United Kingdom
      , 6 years ago
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