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Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla Black Beauty



Deep purple foliage and bright pink flower clusters

Aptly named for its handsome deep purple leaves that make a stunning backdrop for flat clusters of rose pink flowers in May. These are loved by bees and once their work is done, black berries follow.


Easy to grow as a large shrub or small tree the ornamental elder is happy in sun or shade and moist or wet soil.


Water in dry weather until established. To keep Black Beauty within the desired space and for the best leaves, cut back hard to a framework of branches every other year in early spring.

Also known as Sambucus 'Gerda'

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Summer
Flowering June - August
Evergreen No
Plant height 400 cm - 800 cm
Plant width 250 cm - 400 cm
Fragrant flowers Yes
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 200 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Wildlife garden, Coastal or drought resistant

Typically available

From April to September