Pages Navigation Menu

East Idaho's favorite garden center since 1964

Current Business Hours

Monday - Friday 10:00 AM 7:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM 7:00 PM
Sunday Closed

Plant Finder


Black Beauty Elder*

Sambucus nigra 'Gerda'

Add To My Plant List

print page
Black Beauty Elder (Sambucus nigra 'Gerda') at Town And Country Gardens

Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty' flowers

Sambucus nigra 'Black Beauty' flowers

(Photo courtesy of J.C. Bakker Nurseries)

Height: 12 feet

Spread: 8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone: 4

Other Names: Common Elder


A wonderful color contrast shrub, with compound dark purple foliage that borders on true black, against which the soft pink flowers definitely stand out, a true garden accent; grows into a relatively large shrub and spreads, so needs regular attention

Ornamental Features:

Black Beauty Elder features showy clusters of fragrant shell pink flowers held atop the branches in early summer, which emerge from distinctive rose flower buds. It has attractive deep purple foliage throughout the season. The serrated compound leaves are ornamentally significant but do not develop any appreciable fall color. The deep purple fruits are held in clusters in early fall. The smooth tan bark is not particularly outstanding.

Landscape Attributes:

Black Beauty Elder is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Black Beauty Elder is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • General Garden Use
  • Accent
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening

Plant Characteristics:

Black Beauty Elder will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 1 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments.

This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent Massing Screening Garden Naturalizing
Flowers Fruit Foliage Color Attracts Wildlife
Ornamental Features