Sambucus are a form of Elder and usually refer to the shrubby varieties. They come in two types, those with purple foliage and those with yellow and/or green foliage. Fruits are also produced in autumn which are usually dark in colour. Small flowers also appear in summer with different colours depending on the variety.

The plants like a site which is in full sun or part shade, and can cope in any soil type and any exposure. Soil should be of the free-draining type with some moisture.

Pruning can be done in late winter or early spring to ensure the shrub remains bushy. Given time and little pruning, it may grow into a full sized tree at around four metres in height.