Looking for a dramatic plant to serve as a focal point in your garden? Think Black. Black Lace Elderberry, that is!

Black Lace™ Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’ ppaf) is fairly new to the United States, introduced in 2006. One could easily mistake this plant for an exotic Japanese Maple, given its lacy, finely-cut leaves that are purple-black in color. But unlike a Japanese Maple, it is easy to care for and thrives in full sun.

In early summer, creamy pink, domed flowers appear, contrasting beautifully with the dark foliage (the above photo was just taken in our nursery in full sun). The flowers will turn into black-red, edible berries in fall, which you can snack on, or leave for your birds to enjoy. An added extra is its deer resistance.

Black Lace Elderberry came to our nursery several years ago as a trial plant. It has proven to be very cold hardy. Its mature size is about 6-8 feet high and just as wide. It can be pruned yearly to maintain a preferred size, or trained into a tree.

Beautiful, easy to care for, adaptable as a focal point or a hedge and resistant to deer? Now that’s one plant you should know.