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Guincho Purple Elder

Sambucus nigra 'Guincho Purple'

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Guincho Purple Elder (Sambucus nigra 'Guincho Purple') at Connon Nurseries

Guincho Purple Elder foliage

Guincho Purple Elder foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Guincho Purple Elder (Sambucus nigra 'Guincho Purple') at Connon Nurseries

Guincho Purple Elder in bloom

Guincho Purple Elder in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  10 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Common Elder


An upright medium-sized shrub featuring deep purple-bronze leaves, clusters of small, creamy white flowers in spring followed by black berries and thick stems, quite coarse in winter; very adaptable, survives with minimal care but tends to sucker

Ornamental Features

Guincho Purple Elder features showy clusters of fragrant lavender flowers with purple overtones held atop the branches in late spring. It has attractive purple deciduous foliage. The compound leaves are highly ornamental but do not develop any appreciable fall colour. The black fruits are held in clusters in early fall.

Landscape Attributes

Guincho Purple Elder is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Guincho Purple Elder is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Guincho Purple Elder will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden  Naturalizing 
Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features