5 years to reach maturity
Flowers can be collected in Spring, best collected early in the day before the flowers buds open fully. Berries can be collected in Autumn,
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Elder 'Black Lace' Overview
Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Eva' is synonymous with the plant Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'. Also known as Elder 'Black Lace', it produces finely cut, purple-black foliage turning deep red in autumn and scented, pink, flat corymbs in the summer. This is an attractive, deciduous shrub cultivar with finely divided, deep purple-black foliage. The leaves are so divided that it has a ferny, lacy look. Small pink-white flowers are produced in the summer, these are arranged on structures called umbels. These are clusters which radiate from a central stem point, producing flowers on stalks of roughly equal length, to form a flattened surface of blooms. The flowers have the characteristic grape smell of elder and these lead onto purple-black elder berries in the autumn. When planting out, select the location with care as Elders omit a long lasting hormone preventing any others from growing in the same spot. The cultivar 'Eva' is protected by intellectual property laws under Plant Breeders' Rights. These provide the breeder of new plants exclusive control over the plant material for a set amount of time.
Common problems with Elder 'Black Lace'
Can be susceptible to verticillium wilt.
How to propagate Elder 'Black Lace'
Take semi-ripe cuttings in the summer or early autumn. The cutting should have a woody base but soft top growth. Cut just below a leaf node and aim for a cutting of about 10cm long. Remove the lower leaves and leave only about 4 leaves on the cutting. If these are large leaves cut them in half so that the cutting doesn't lose too much water. Dip the cutting in rooting compost and push gently into a pot of cuttings compost of planting compost mixed 50:50 with sand or perlite. Cover the pots with a plastic bag and place in a sheltered, sunny position. Keep the compost moist. Once they show signs of growth you can remove the plastic bag and keep the cuttings out of frost. They should be ready for planting out the following spring.
Special features of Elder 'Black Lace'
Attracts useful insects
Other uses of Elder 'Black Lace'
This low maintenance shrub can be grown as a specimen in smaller gardens but can also be grown as a screen/hedge in larger and wildlife friendly gardens.