A very exciting and fairly new variety of cultivated elder, Sambucus Black Tower lives up to its name, growing in an unusually columnar habit. The divided leaves are a lovely glossy deep purplish black offer a fitting backdrop to the sprays of pinkish flowers in summer. Sun or semi-shade. Any reasonable soil. To 6 to 8 feet. 3 litre pot. PLEASE NOTE THESE ARE CURRENTLY QUITE TALL SHRUBS & MAY NEED CUTTING BACK IF SENDING BY COURIER.


The remarkable thing about Sambucus Black Tower is its unusually upright habit. It can be comparatively slow to get going (unlike most of its cousins, who are all too ready to grow like crazy) but its measured progress is largely upwards and it can be relied on not to sprawl or take up too much space in the garden. The leaves are perhaps not as totally black as, say, Black Lace, but they are dark enough to warrant the name, and leaves that emerge green will colour up as they mature to match the dark stems. The pinky white flowers are borne on even very young plants and provide a nice contrast with the foliage.

Sambucus Black Tower was developed here in the UK by Kenneth Richard Tobutt of Gravesend and had the development name Eiffel 1 (we see what you did there, Mr Tobutt). It started life as a cross of 2 unnamed seedlings that were themselves the result of a cross between Sambucus nigra Pyramidalis and Sambucus nigra Guincho Purple. It’s a complex business, this plant breeding.

Like others in the family, Sambucus Black Tower responds well to pruning after flowering or in early spring.

Johnsons of Whixley seem rather excited in this video about the availability of Sambucus Black Tower in their garden centres.

Sambucus Black Tower is a hardy deciduous upright shrub with black fingered leaves and sprays of pink flowers in summer suitable for sun or semi-shade.

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