Skip to Content

All About the Black Beauty Elderberry

The Black Beauty elderberry is a prolific plant belonging to the European variety of dark elderberry bushes. This particular variety of elderberry was introduced to the world in England in 2003.

Known for its use in jams, jellies, and wine and in relieving cold and flu symptoms, this berry produces luscious fruits that have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Keep reading to learn all about the Black Beauty elderberry, including delicious recipes and how to grow your own!

Looking to buy a Black Beauty elderberry shrub? Check availability.

Pink flowers against the dark foliage of a Black Beauty elderberry shrub.

Characteristics of the Black Beauty Elderberry


These plants grow up to 8 feet tall if they are not pruned regularly and are prolific berry producers.

Black Beauty elderberry plants produce beautiful, pink-and-cream-colored flowers called elderflowers in the summer. These colorful blooms are large and will liven up your garden and attract many bird species.

The plants also produce choppy-looking dark purple foliage that appears nearly black and keeps their color year-round. The result is a very deeply pigmented berry.

The berries are deep purple and appear black, hence their name, and can be found in bunches on the bush.

The dark leaves of a Black Beauty elderberry shrub.


Fresh Black Beauty elderberries have a tart, bitter taste that can be a bit unpleasant. This is why many people use it as an ingredient in sweet recipes such as elderberry syrup which contains a lot of sugar. Cooking the berries will remove the bitterness and any toxins they have retained.

Unlike some other varieties, the ripe berries from this elderberry bush are safe for human and pet consumption. These berries may still make your stomach ache if you eat too many of them, so keep that in mind.

How to Prepare

Harvested elderberries.

Elderberries are delicious, but they must be prepared safely.

Safe Consumption

Many elderberries contain cyanogenic glycosides, which release cyanide into the body when the berries are consumed.

Black Beauty elderberries also contain small amounts of lectins, which will call stomach pain, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms

For these reasons, your elderberries must be cooked to remove the harmful substances naturally found in them.


Elderberries are used in various recipes, from jams, jellies, and syrups — these versatile berries make for a yummy treat.

Elderberry Syrup

Homemade elderberry syrup.

Elderberry syrup is frequently used in natural home remedies. It helps alleviate symptoms of the flu or a cold, and it is also known to shorten the duration and severity of your symptoms by up to four days.

This form of consuming elderberries is popular because the syrup is made with sugar and sometimes honey, improving the taste of the bitter berry.

For a deliciously sweet syrup that is fantastic as a topping for desserts, or to fight upper respiratory illnesses, give this recipe for elderberry syrup a try!

Elderberry Jam

This elderberry jam is the perfect mix of sweet and tart. It can be made with or without seeds, whichever you prefer.

Elderberry jam can be put on toast or inside a freshly baked biscuit. It also pairs well with string cheeses and toppings for desserts.

Elderberry Cocktail

This simple elderberry cocktail is made with just three ingredients and has a tasty berry flavor. It also provides the many nutrients elderberries are known for.

This recipe calls for elderberry syrup, so you can use the homemade syrup from the previous recipe to make a fruity cocktail to help you relax!

Health Benefits

The elder bush and its fruit are known for their many health benefits and use in folk medicine.

It is commonly used to alleviate symptoms of the common cold and the flu, and so much more. These little berries, consumed in many different forms, reduce symptoms of the flu and cold by up to four days if taken as directed.

Elderberries are naturally high in vitamins A, C, E, B6, and other vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, C, and E promote healthy cell growth and vision; each has antioxidant properties. Vitamin B6 is an immune booster and promotes a healthy nervous system.

Elderberries contain more flavonoids (antioxidant power) than any other berry! This substance, contained in the Black Beauty elderberry variety at high levels, protects the cells from damage caused by free radicals in the body.

The benefits of the flowers of the elder tree, as well as the purple/black fruit it produces, are endless. The flowers have been used for relieving pain, swelling, and inflammation for years!

The Black Beauty elderberry is one of the most nutritious varieties, and it is one of the most popular for use in home remedies and commercial production of supplements.

Growing Your Own

Elderberries in sunshine.

Elderberry shrubs are typically easy to grow in a variety of climates. They tolerate drought reasonably well – after an extended time, the plant will grow accustomed to the dry conditions and thrive. This plant tolerates rainy climates well also.

To produce berries, the Black Beauty elderberry variety will need to be pollinated using another variety such as Black Lace or Laced Up varieties.

Black Beauty variety will grow like a perennial each year. Fertilize them in the spring, using a 10-10-10 fertilizer, and prune them in late winter before they bloom again.

They should be watered once or twice weekly, moistening the soil but not soaking it. Also, keep the foliage as dry as possible to prevent mildew or fungal growth. Be sure to trim any leaves or stems that have mildew on them.

Aphids and spider mites are the biggest pest concern with elderberry plants, so they must be monitored closely. If you find either pest on your elderberry bush, rinse the pests from the foliage with a sharp spray of water. Do this in the morning, so the leaves have time to dry during the day.

Where to Buy

New growth on a Black Beauty elderberry shrub.

Elderberry syrups and supplements (including gummies) are available in health food stores, pharmacies, online, and grocery stores. It is incredibly easy to get ahold of.

You can also purchase a Black Beauty Elderberry bush at a reputable nursery to grow your own. We recommend the Black Beauty shrub sold online at Nature Hills Nursery!

Elderberry products are available on shelves everywhere, but you should make sure you purchase from a source you trust with your safety.

Try Out Black Beauty Elderberries!

Closeup of pink flowers on a Black Beauty elderberry shrub.

Black Beauty elderberries are easy to grow on your own! They are excellent producers in almost any climate and provide many vital nutrients that aid the body in fighting illness. Give them a try!

For more information on different varieties of elderberries, including how to plant and safely consume them, visit the Elderberries page on our website.