Monday, June 8, 2009

'Black Lace'--A Sizzler

Black Lace. What a sizzling name for one hottie of a plant.

Here in my Ohio garden one of the star performers is the Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace', a dazzling, dark-leaved elderberry. It's in the back of the flower bed, where the dark, finely cut foliage sets off everything sited in front of it. Right now it's covered with pink flowers similar to Queen Anne's Lace. Sterile berries will follow. The fruit is edible, but I leave it for the birds.

I added this gem to my garden several seasons ago, and as it grows taller I find myself wishing I had two or three more of them. The graceful shrub will attain a size of approximately 6-8 feet tall and wide. It's perfectly hardy in zone 5, and it is reputed to be hardy to zone 4. It withstands the wind, the heat, the cold--everything Mother Nature has to offer. I see no signs of any kind of disease or pests.

'Black Lace' Sambucus may be used as a substitute for Japanese maples in gardens and yards like mine where conditions wreak havoc on tender trees. That's a stellar idea for this sizzler. Black Lace Photos by JulenaJo.


  1. I have one and just moved it the other day. It has not bloomed and is a new purchase. It is lovely. I hope it grows fairly fast. Do you think it has in your garden?

  2. Ive never seen this before, what a stunning plant! Probably too cold here for it. I went to Corn Hill Nursery yesterday and oh what a gorgeous place, they have acres of roses. I took your advice and bought a blanc double de coubert which is planted now at the flagpole in our lawn. The sales guy said it is hardy , bug proof, and nearly impossible to kill and very very fragrant. I'll post a picture when it blooms!

  3. Tina, I wonder if moving the plant has caused it to sulk a little? Give it a year without that stress and see how it performs. Mine has grown steadily. It's not full grown yet, but in another 2 years or so I expect it will be. I'm thinking about pruning off a fairly large branch of it that is growing in a direction I don't want. Afraid I'll harm it and that would be a travesty. Good luck with yours!

    Kathi, I bet you'll love your 'Blanc Double de Coubert'. I treated mine to a little composted horse manure this year and it's rewarding me with zillions of blooms. The fragrance beats everything else in my garden. I'm looking forward to seeing your photos.

  4. Gourdo's sisterJune 9, 2009 at 7:15 AM

    Happy Birthday! My Rosa Rugosa has a bud. (Sounds like it made a new friend.)

  5. GourdSis, thank you! I'll be checking on your new rose when I see you later this month. I hope you like your rugosa as well as I like the ones I have.