Throughout the world, Elders have long been considered powerful trees and shrubs. Sicilians thought the branches killed serpents and drove away robbers; Serbs believed the branches brought good luck at weddings; the English carried knotted twigs in their pockets to ward off rheumatism. We invite you to plant Elders to provide quick shade, wind protection, or an easy screen for unwanted views.
These wild-looking deciduous shrubs grow quickly and offer a beautiful accent near water. With pinnate leaves, white to pink flat flower clusters that measure up to 10 in. wide, and small, dark fruit, most of the twenty species of the genus like good, moist soil.
Indigenous to eastern North America, this attractive, multistemmed bushy shrub has many merits: foot-long, golden yellow foliage, myriad lemon-scented white panicles and small, bird-friendly cherry-red fruit. The showy summer display of large, luminous flat-headed blooms set against lambent, pinnately compound leaves, emphasizing 9 lance-shaped, deciduous leaflets, affords a glowing spectacle. Adored by butterflies plus a tasty ingredient in pies, jellies and wine, ‘Aurea’s robust suckering habit can be featured as a mixed border specimen, massed in naturalized areas, utilized as an informal hedge or planted near water. Good drainage, humus-rich soil, moderate moisture and regular pruning maintain a stylish rounded shape.
Size: 8' 0" high x 6' 0" wide.
Awarded the Royal Boskoop Horticultural medal, this large reliable Elder is the classy outcome of an extensive 10 year British breeding program. Sumptuous purplish ebony shades infuse the young stems and fine-cut compound pinnate leaves that impart a lacy Japanese Maple flair. Garnished with broad lemon-scented pink umbels and edible blackish red berries, ‘Black Lace’s comely upright profile works best either as a fast-growing accent or massed as a mysterious deciduous backdrop for a natural-style border, where it entices gardeners, birds and other wildlife, fancies periodic pruning plus endures clay and deer. (pp#15,575)
Size: 6' 0" – 8' 0" high x 6' 0" – 8' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 4.
Sambucus nigra Black Beauty™
Set apart by its intense purple-black leaves, this Sambucus comes to us from a special breeding program in Kent, England. The passionate hue of the foliage remains all season, darkening as autumn approaches. Superbly displayed against the dramatic leaves, unique, deep pink, lemon-scented umbels develop to almost 10 in. across.
Partner this thoroughbred with the golden foliage of Spiraea ‘Ogon’ or let her stand as an alluring backdrop for the silvery inflorescences of the late blooming grasses. Minimal pruning will easily maintain ‘Black Beauty’s smaller silhouette for gardens short on space. (PP#12,305)
Size: 10' 0" – 12' 0" high x 6' 0" – 8' 0" wide.
Hardy to zone 4.
Springtime layers of finely dissected golden foliage attire this award-winning multistemmed Sambucus. More resistant to sun scorch than other yellow-leafed Elderberry cultivars, the delicate looking ferny leaves emerge in copper-hued shades and slowly develop a refreshing lime-green cast during the warmer months. Favoring judicious pruning, adequately moist soil and bright partial shade, its graceful visage is further enhanced by conical racemes of creamy white flowers and glossy red fruit that birds adore.
Blooms late April – May.
Size: 6' 0" – 10' 0" high x 6' 0" – 10' 0" wide.