Common name: Elderberry ‘Black Lace’
Botanical name: Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’
What it is: Unusual flowering shrub with almost black, sharply dissected leaves – similar to a cut-leaf Japanese maple. Gets dainty, pink umbrella-like clusters of flowers in June followed by black berries that birds love.
Size: 6 to 8 feet tall and wide, but can be kept smaller with annual early-spring pruning.
Where to use: Center stage! This is a star specimen for a house corner, the center of a front-yard bed or similar prominent spot. Full sun to part shade.
Care: Prune to shape or control size in early spring. Fertilize with a balanced, organic fertilizer at the same time. Prefers damp soil, so water in dry spells when young. Becomes more drought tolerant with age.
Why I like it: I like that most people don’t have it, so it is not seen in every landscape. The lacy leaves provide great texture and color. Looks great with light colored plants.