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Plant of the week

Sambucus Black Lace

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This Week's Plant:
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Suntory Texas Summer Double

For those of you who love black foliage and you know who you are, there is a stunning elderberry shrub that will find a place in your heart, in your landscape, and even in your containers. Black Lace elderberry (Sambucus Black Lace) has leaves cut deeply just like pricey Japanese maple trees. This shrub might be coined the “poor man's Japanese maple” but there is nothing lacking in the color or use of this plant.

The foliage is technically deep, dark purple but in my garden bed, it is definitely black. The flat flower heads open pale pink and then fade to white. Grab your camera and shoot the rich foliage topped off with these delicate flowers.

Grow Black Laceelderberry in sun or part shade. It likes good, moist garden soil with a spring feeding of compost or slow release fertilizer. You can trim it back hard in spring to promote more black foliage. This will sacrifice flowers.Prune it right after it blossoms, if it needs it. Or just pinch the tips to force fuller growth. The flower buds are set in summer for next year's show. Pruning or pinching later or too early in the year removes the flowerbuds.

Black Lace elderberry thrives in USDA Zones 4-7.

GardenSMART Featured Article

By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.

So many perennials have faded, lost their verve, stopped blooming. Enter the coneflower! In the opinion of Dan, the author, of this article Terra Nova has created, in form and function, the best coneflowers on earth. To learn more click here for an informative article.

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