Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Black Lace® Elderberry

As low as $69.99 was $99.99
Availability: In stock

The magnificent dark purple-leafed Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Black Lace® Elderberry (Sambucus nigra 'Eva' PP15,575) takes the traditional notion of a rangy old, plain Jane Elderberry and throws it out the window. With dark purple-red, deeply dissected foliage and a fragrant, light pink bloom, this glamorous variety rewrites the way we can use the Elderberry in the landscape!

Developed in England in the late 1980s, this variety is commonly known as the European Elderberry. It's noted for stylish, dark purple-red, narrow leaves and puffy, lemon-scented, pink flat-topped blooms in the spring. The light pink flowers are exquisitely visible, floating on top of the dark foliage of the Black Lace® Elderberry. The bees, beneficial insects, and butterflies go gaga for them!

This dramatic shrub looks stunning with its almost-black foliage. The elegant leaves are almost as ornate as real black lace! Young stems are purple and gradually become grey-brown as they age. Black Lace® Elderberry is not a perfect, rounded, uniform little ball. Instead, the overall look of this stylish upright shrub is free-form, a bit flowy, and wild.

The whole plant is sophisticated, including the late-summer to autumn crop of dark purple and glossy clusters of edible berries that occur if you plant a pollination partner. For the best fruiting, plan to pair it with a York Elderberry, Black Beauty® or Laced Up® Elderberry as a pollination partner. Use a single plant or several Black Lace® together if you don't want to grow berries. But if you include another shrub, the songbirds will be ever grateful!

The berries can be used like its American Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) counterpart for jams and wine. Cook them with sweetener to make fabulous wine and tasty preserves. But because birds and wildlife rely on these juicy dark little berries, please don't let them eat all of them. (Did you know that even Elderberry flowers have been used medicinally and make delightful beverages?)

You'll also appreciate how low maintenance it is! Highly adaptable throughout most US planting zones 4 to 7, these 6-8 foot tall and wide shrubs can easily be kept smaller as needed. Fast-growing, you can even prune them down each spring and watch them grow back full and fluffy anew each year!

Planting and Application:

Use Black Lace® as a high-impact accent plant as a solo specimen, or in groupings and rows as an informal hedgerow! Either way, large or small, add immediate impact to the color palette of your landscape! But imagine a privacy hedge of dark lacy leaves surrounding your property! Planting this upscale and colorful Elderberry is also a sneaky way to include Edible Landscaping in your property!

Add excitement to your yard by using the Black Lace® Elderberry as a foundation hedge! A home with a dark roof and dark trim will become a standout! It would make a unique and memorable anchor plant at the corner of your foundation planting. You'll love the way it resembles a Japanese Maple but adds foamy pink flowers in the spring and beautiful, glossy berries in the fall.

You could consider this plant as a living sculpture. Place one on either side of a wide gate to create a wonderful sense of anticipation to what's beyond. The lush, ferny dark foliage beckons, and the fresh lemony scent of the wide clusters of tiny, precious, fragrant pink flowers enchant you and your guests, while the berries in the summer bring in the songbirds!

Use several plants in a curving row to effortlessly create a marvelously organic flowering hedge around your patio. It provides an airy sense of privacy and elevates the look of your space. For a hedge, plant them 4 - 5 feet apart on center. You'll measure from the center of one to the center of the next. If you want to show off individual plants, give them 7 - 8 feet apart for some wiggle room. Use several across your property line. You'll extend the height and improve the looks of any landscape fence.

They'll behave as a perfectly chic backdrop to so many other plants! With the outstanding, wispy texture of the deep leaves, they partner beautifully with down-to-earth flowy Ornamental Grass, spiky Yucca, stolid evergreens, or snooty Rose bushes. Have fun mixing these lacy foliage shrubs with equally hardy and low-maintenance Sumacs like the chartreuse Tiger Eyes®!

Or, keep it in a container on your patio. Keep it pruned in a large pot on the patio. It will definitely take on the 'Thriller' role and bring a lot of excitement to your balcony, porch, or patio. Black Lace® would look great in large, unglazed terra cotta, or plain concrete containers. Make it pop against brightly glazed pots of any color from gray, red, dark blue, bright yellow, deep pink, and so on. You name it!

This unique beauty even makes an ideal specimen plant on a berm or trimmed up into a unique tree form! You can place a single plant where it will have the space it needs to stretch out and become the magnificent specimen it wants to be. Or, keep it pruned into a tall, narrow waterfall of fascinating purple-black foliage.

The Black Lace® Elderberry is the perfect plant for the back of a modern Cottage Garden, or to add depth to a mixed perennial garden. They'll fit right into a broody dark-foliage garden or add high-contrast to your chartreuse and variegated shrubs and perennials!

Black Lace® Elderberry plant thrives in wet or moderately wet soil. They can be used in Rain Gardens to filter water runoff from roofs and streets. But these fancy shrubs remember their roots and are tough enough to soften a Rock Garden too!

  • Lacy Dark Leaves Emerge in Early Spring
  • Lemon-Scented, Soft Pink Blooms in Early Summer Bring Butterflies
  • Glossy Purple Berries Make Tasty Jam or Wine
  • Foliage Looks Great in Cut Flower Arrangements
  • Train Into A Tree Form & Great in Containers
  • Wonderful for Mass Planting, Hedges, Specimens & Dramatic Landscape Color

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Plant your Elderberry in just about any soil in either full sun or partial shade (You will get more flowers and fruit in more sun!) and give it regular water. Then, just watch it grow! The plant requires a thick layer of mulch for consistent surface moisture and to keep the root system cool in the heat of the summer. Apply 3 to 4 inches of an acidic mulch out 4 feet from the center of the plant. Feed with Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Organic and Natural Premium Fertilizer late in the winter and after fruit sets in the summertime.

Remember that flowering occurs on last year's wood, so if you want fruit, you should not prune Elderberry until after they flower. But this forgiving deciduous shrub is complimented by hard pruning.

After the first year, cut it back down to 12 inches tall to encourage a bushier plant once the flowers fade. Every 3 years, hard prune in the spring to maintain its shape and remove unwanted growth. Tip prune it each year to keep it shorter or remove the outside stems all the way to the ground to keep it in a narrow, columnar shape.

You can also renewal prune Elderberry to keep the vigorous younger shoots returning by removing the oldest, fattest stems every 3 years. This way you will not have to miss a moment of those flowers or fruit!

  • Cold Hardy
  • Grows in Full Sun or Partial Shade
  • Highly Adaptable to Any Well-Drained Soil Type
  • Thrives In Moist to Dry Conditions Once Established
  • Flowers On Old Wood - Prune After Flowering - Can Be Tightly Pruned
  • Really Easy Care & Fast-Growing!

When this amazing Proven Winners® ColorChoice® plant first came onto the scene, it won "Best Plant of the Year," and its reputation hasn't wavered. Planting some Black Lace® Elderberry is a no-brainer if you want beauty, berries, and excitement in your yard!

This beautiful plant attracts butterflies and birds and jealous neighbors! Don't be surprised to get lots of curious questions from visitors to your garden. Order today at and enjoy!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

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Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
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Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Black Lace® Elderberry Is Suited to Grow in Zones 4-7
Growing Zones 4-7
More Information
Brand Proven Winners ColorChoice
Botanical Name Sambucus nigra 'Eva'
Type Deciduous
Mature Height 6 - 8 feet
Mature Spread 6 - 8 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Widely Adaptable
Moisture Widely Adaptable
Growth Rate Fast
Flower Color Light Pink
Foliage Deciduous
Foliage Color Dark Reddish-Purple/Near-Black
Fall Color Burgundy / Purple
Harvest Time Mid Season
Pollinator Friendly Yes
Pruning Time After Flowering
Fragrant Yes
Photos courtesy of Proven Winners, Inc -