Plant of the Month June - the Black Elderberry


Plant of the Month June - the Black Elderberry

01Jun 2019


Wherever you walk in June, it’s hard not to notice the sweet scent of elderberry blossoms blowing up and around your nose. But this robust shrub doesn‘t only look good in the kitchen - our plant of the month is also very versatile in the garden.


The Black Elderberry is available as a shrub or small tree, and often reaches a height of roughly 10 feet or more (if you don't insulate its growth, it’s possible for it to become just as wide)! Elder grows very quickly, which makes it a popular plant for property boundaries, as a large shrub or border plant. The latter requires regular pruning, and is an insect and bird-friendly alternative to common hedge species.



In addition to its distinctive scent, the flowers and berries are also rather decorative. The delicate white flowers grow in numerous umbels from June to July, and are also very attractive to wildlife in the garden. In autumn, the black violet spherical berries follow, which can be used for jellies, jams, juice and liqueur. An equally tasty but slighlty more distinct Sambucus variety is Black Lace. Although its foliage sprouts green, it quickly takes on a deep dark red hue. In contrast to Sambucus nigra, the leaves are not pinnate, but rather finely slit. The pink buds and pure white flowers provide a beautiful canvas of colours - plus, the flowers have a slightly lemony scent and appear a little earlier than those oft he common Elderberry.

Sambucus nigra is an easy-to-care-for woody plant, and is fairly simple to grow in any location – it’s not fussy. The Black Elder thrives in ordinary garden soil and should always be slightly moist, as it does prefer a sunny to semi-shaded place.