Instant Karma® Elder

Sambucus nigra 'Sanivalk'

Add To My Wish List

Instant Karma Elder (Sambucus nigra 'Sanivalk') at Weston Nurseries

Instant Karma® Elder foliage

Instant Karma® Elder foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  8 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Common Elder, Elderberry

Brand:  Proven Winners


An attractive garden shrub with white edged variegated foliage, showy clusters of small, creamy white flowers in late spring, followed by black berries if a pollinator is present; dense habit and very adaptable, survives with minimal care

Ornamental Features

Instant Karma® Elder features showy clusters of fragrant creamy white flowers held atop the branches from late spring to early summer. It has attractive forest green foliage edged in white with hints of grayish green. The compound leaves are highly ornamental and turn yellow in fall. The deep purple fruits with black overtones are held in clusters from mid to late summer.

This plant is primarily grown as an ornamental, but it's also valued for its edible qualities. The round sweet berries are most often used in the following ways:

  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Preserves

Landscape Attributes

Instant Karma® 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 shrub will require occasional maintenance 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

Instant Karma® Elder is recommended for the following landscape applications;

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

Planting & Growing

Instant Karma® Elder will grow to be about 8 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 variety requires a different selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.

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