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Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Gerda'PBR
  • RHS AGM

elder 'Gerda'

A deciduous shrub or small tree, with deep purple foliage from spring to autumn and flat heads of small, pinkish-purple flowers, followed by purple-black berries

Synonyms
Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla 'Black Beauty'
Sambucus nigra Black Beauty

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple
Summer Pink Purple
Autumn Purple Black Purple
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing or North–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Viburnaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Potentially harmful
Harmful if eaten, fruit/flowers edible if cooked. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling Pets (dogs, cats): Harmful if eaten, fruit/flowers edible if cooked - for further information and contact numbers regarding pets, see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants
Genus

Sambucus can be herbaceous perennials, deciduous shrubs or small trees, with pinnate leaves and umbels or panicles of small creamy-white flowers followed by red, white or black berries

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Easy to grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soils and also thrives on extremely chalky sites

Propagation

Propagate by softwood or hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 1. Will tolerate hard pruning to restrict the size

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases

May be susceptible to verticillium wilt and honey fungus

Get involved

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