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Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' Shrub

Black Elder Shrubs
  • £49.99 (ex VAT)
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The dark purple, almost black foliage of Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' is fine and heavily dissected, giving a lace like appearance. Pretty clusters of tiny pink flowers form at the start of summer that look stunning against the backdrop of dark intricate foliage. The flowers have a grape-musk scent and are followed by very deep red elderberries which are popular with birds.

Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' is bushy and reaches approximately 3 metres height and 2 metres spread at maturity, but can be pruned back to keep it smaller. It grows well in partial shade but full sun produces the best foliage colours. This Black Elder is a fantastic and unusual choice with the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

AKA Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Black Lace', Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva', Elder 'Black Lace', Elder 'Eva'

Nigel's Nursery Notes: The second photo shows a 'Black Lace'  that I choose to coppice every spring to keep it small for a herbaceous border.

  • Common name: Elder Black Lace Shrub
  • Awards: RHS Award of Garden Merit
  • Height and spread in 20 years: 3 x 2 metres
  • Seasons of interest: Summer, Autumn
  • Foliage: Dark purple, heavily dissected foliage
  • Position: Full sun or partial shade
  • Soil: Any type if well-drained or moist but well-drained

Planting Advice for Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'

Our pot grown Black Elder trees can be planted at any time of the year. Start by removing all weeds and grass within a metre of your desired planting hole. Dig a square hole as deep as your root mass and approximately 2x as wide. To help your plant establish more effectively, especially if you have poor soil, apply root grow by sprinkling in the hole.

Gently tease the roots then place in the hole. Using 50% of the original soil and 50% compost, fill in the hole and firm around gently, avoiding banking the soil up around the collar of the tree.

Aftercare of Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'

If you’re planting Black Elder in spring or summer, water well and regularly for the first few months. Keep an eye on young trees and increase watering if there are extended periods of hot or dry weather. If you’re planting in autumn, you may only need to water a little. If there is snow fall, gently brush the snow from the branches to ensure it does not weigh down the framework and cause damage.

Once planted, keep the area free of competing weeds and grass for the first couple of growing seasons.

Pruning Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'

Black Elder can cope with hard pruning, useful for keeping the bush small or encouraging fresh foliage.

Delivery Timescales

Most deliveries are made within a week of placing the order. All trees are carefully packed by our experienced team, with many despatched to our tried and tested couriers within 24 hours (please allow up to 10 days). There's no need to be in to receive your trees and you can request where they are left via the checkout.

There is a slightly longer timescale on pleached and mature trees (trees over 2.5m in height) because we group orders together by geographic area for specialist delivery - we will contact these customers to notify them of the delivery date and whether the delivery driver needs assistance.

Gift trees and those required by a specific date can be accommodated with pleasure, although we accept no legal responsibility for late deliveries.

Our nursery is a busy despatch centre, so please make an appointment to collect or view trees.  For collections, despatch charges will be refunded.

Delivery Costs

1 small tree (most trees with a height under 1.5 metres) : £7.95 + vat

1 medium tree (most trees 1.5-2 metres in height) or 2-4 small trees: £9.95 + vat

2+ medium trees or 5+ small trees: £12.95 + vat

1-4 large trees (trees too large to fit in a box): £19.95 + vat

Mature, pleached or 5+ large trees: Cost is calculated in the checkout process and varies by postcode. You can buy additional trees with no increase in delivery cost.

The above prices exclude the Scottish Highlands, where delivery starts from £24.95 + vat and is calculated in the checkout process.

Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Non Mainland UK

Our courier charges are not viable for just one or two trees, but if you have a larger requirement then please do speak to us to see if we can find a solution.

The product table at the bottom of the page gives the forms and sizes available for this variety. Please note, photos are a guideline as all plants are unique. Below are definitions of terms:

Supplied Size: Height measured from the top of the pot.

Single Stem / Pruned and shaped: Classic shaped tree with a single stem that has had pruning to help create a beautiful, natural shape.

Top grafted: A height noted next to this form refers to the length of clear stem, which will not grow taller. Only the head of branches will develop. Top grafted trees do not require complicated pruning and are ideal for small spaces.

Multi Stem: A multi stem tree is has two or more stems arising from or near ground level, growing from one root system. Take care to buy a true multi-stem like all ours and not those that are 3 saplings in a pot to cheaply imitate them.

Feathered: A feathered tree has branches from the bottom of the trunk all the way up. These branches can be removed if a clear stem is required.

Bush: A plant with many stems low down, rather than one clear stem.

Climber: A plant that is a natural climber and will be delivered usually running up a bamboo cane, ready to position in the garden.

Standard Tree: A more mature tree with an upright clear stem of approximately 1.8m-2.0m (measured from the soil to the lowest branches of the crown). Standards are available in different forms relating to their girth size (circumference of the stem measured 1m above soil level), not height:

Standard  either 6-10cm or 8-10cm girth, approximately 2.5-3.0m in height
Premium Standard  10-12cm girth, approximately 3.0-3.5m in height
Heavy Standard  12-14cm girth, approximately 3.5-4.5m in height
Extra Heavy Standard 14-16cm girth approximately 4.0-6m in height

Plant Specification Form Supplied Size Root typePrice Quantity Qty
Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' Form: Single Stem Tree Supplied Size: 150-200cm Root type: 12L pot Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace' Price £49.99 (ex VAT)
Single Stem Tree 150-200cm 12L pot £49.99 (ex VAT)
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Total: £0.00 (VAT Free)
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