READY LATER IN THE SEASON. In our opinion, Black Lace is definitely the best of the dark leaved sambucus cultivars. The virtually black foliage is delicately dissected so it does look like filigree lace (we find people often confuse it with an acer). When the flattish heads of delicate pink flowers appear in summer, it’s quite perfect. Keep it pruned to the size you like. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. Can reach 6 to 8 feet. 2 litre pot.

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Sambucus Nigra, the species of which Black Lace is a named cultivar, is the familiar common elder, much used for such delights as elderflower cordial and elderberry wine, with the pecies epithet referring not to the colour of the leaves, but rather the prolific black berries which follow flowering. It’s native habitat is woodland and scrubby thickets, and in the garden Sambucus is not very fussy about where you position it, though being in total shade is likely to result in leggy growth.

Black Lace, also sometimes sold under the name Eva, was one of the varieties developed in a breeding programme carried out in the United Kingdom towards the end of the 20th century, with BLack Tower having the same origins.

Sambucus does respond well to hard pruning, so don't be afraid to chop it back after flowering or in early spring. It will soon get going again.

In this short video a proud owner of a Sambucus Black Lace shows off its splendours.

Sambucus Black Lace is a hardy deciduous shrub with black dissected maple like leaves and flat heads of pink flowers in summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.

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