Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ok, my countdown begins..
Blooming Desert Landscape's Top Plant Picks for 2011- Bring Color to Your Landscape.

Number Five - 'Black Lace' Elder - Sambucus nigra 'Eva'

This deciduous shrub is a wonderful substitute for the Japanese Lace leaf Maple in harsh climates. Striking, 10" pink blooms arrive in June, but you can enjoy the dark purple foliage all the way through late fall. Height can reach 10' if left alone. You may get winter die back, but not enough that would affect the overall shape of the shrub. For those Martha Stewarts out there, you may harvested their blackish, red fall berries for elderberry jam, pies or juice...only if you can get the berries before the birds do!

USDA Zone 4-7. Prefers full sun and moist soils, but will tolerant drier conditions. This is one tough plant!

The 'Black Lace' blooms on old wood, like rhododendrons, so don't prune them in early spring. Otherwise, you will not get to enjoy the blooms. If you want to trim these shrubs back, I recommend doing it right after the blooms die.

I like to plant 'Black Lace' with oriental poppies or chartreuse foliage plants for spring interest and rudbeckia, pink fall asters, or white coneflower for a fall contrast.

I have recently learned that this shrub has bark, roots and buds that can be toxic to animals. May want to keep away from this one if you have a curious puppy or child.

Oh, yes...you can purchase 'Black Lace' Elder at Moonfire and Sun Nursery, Heart Springs Nursery
and Dave Kimmel Nursery in Central Oregon.

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