Black lace elder (sambucus nigra 'black lace')

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by Olafhenny, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Penticton
    I have planted two black lace elders this spring. One of them as part of my landscaping at the entrance to our strata and one in my own garden. The latter had one umbel of flowers, but no berries.
    - Is this particular cultivar sterile?
    - Does it need a companion plant for fertilization?
    - It has very pretty flowers, but other elders also have colourful berries, which last much longer than the flowers.
    - If black lace elder has berries, - what colour?

    I can only find pictures of the flower umbels, but not of any berries of this particular cultivar.

    Thanks,
    Olaf
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,673
    Likes Received:
    550
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Being a black elderberry it would be expected to have blackish fruits. There are a few cultivars of this species with yellow fruits but I wouldn't expect a purple-leaved form to be one of them. After yours are flowering well you may begin to see fruits, I would be surprised if it does not fruit. One I planted on Camano Island a short time ago is now probably above my head and flowering well. Maybe I will get fruits this year. There are two other S. nigra cultivars near it, so there would seem to be plenty of potential for flowers to be fertilized.

    If you want to be correct thread of title should show cultivar name as 'Eva'. Black Lace is a trademark used to sell the cultivar 'Eva'.
     
  3. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Penticton
    Thanks, Ron, I will call the "lady" by her correct name from now on :)
     
  4. levilyla

    levilyla Active Member

    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Baltimore, Md.
    I think the berries are red. I have never heard it called EVA either. Learn something everyday here.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,673
    Likes Received:
    550
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
  6. levilyla

    levilyla Active Member

    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Baltimore, Md.
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,673
    Likes Received:
    550
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Wayside description is probably wrong - or somebody sees the color of the (developing?) fruits as dark red. The mature fruits will almost certainly be like those in the Wiki picture, this is the usual color for the species. Elderberry species are often named after the dominant color of their fruits, as in black elderberry, blue elderberry, and red elderberry.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,673
    Likes Received:
    550
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
  9. levilyla

    levilyla Active Member

    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Baltimore, Md.
    ok...I thought it was named for the black foliage. Mine does not get fruit. Only had it two years..but it flowers and then nothing. At least nothing that looks like that picture. wish it did!
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,673
    Likes Received:
    550
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    The original wild species black elderberry would surely be named for the coloring of the fruits. The Black Lace trademark would refer to the foliage appearance of 'Eva'.
     
  11. Diane W.

    Diane W. Active Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    When I purchased my first Black Lace Elder a number of years ago, I was advised to cut it back to the ground each Spring which I did and wondered why it never flowered.
    I eventually found out that this method applies only to those in zone 4 or less. If you are new to Black Lace Elders and live in a zone higher than 4, you should know that the flower buds form in August for flowering the next June so, if you need to prune to keep the plant bushy, keep pinching out the growing tips just after flowering but stop before August, otherwise you will not get any flowers. DON'T prune in the Spring. I learned the hard way!
    Also, if you have one plant and want another, don't rush out and buy one, just take cuttings. They root very easily and very quickly. I now have 6 plants from the original one.
     
  12. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Penticton
    Hi greenfingers:
    I found this post in the website Ron supplied (http://www.colorchoiceplants.com/black_lace.htm):

    "This has got to be the best looking plant in my garden. I live in the UK, I planted this shrub in my garden in June 2005 when it was only 12cm in height it had tripled in size within a few months and distinctively looked like a Japanese maple but unlike the Japanese maple this looked stunning when the the wind blew the lacy leaves. Over winter it survived temperatures of -5 degrees. I cut back my black lace down to around 26cm in January by April, leaves began to emerge from the buds and in May it began a rapid growth it is now about 4ft by 2ft with beautiful pink flowers absolutely stunning I can't wait till the berries come as I have not seen this on my plant. whenever we have visitors everyone wants to know what it is and where did I get it from. I am so glad I planted it on a island bed in the middle of my garden as I can view its marvel from within my home it is definitely the centre piece in my garden It really makes my garden. Thank you for producing such a stunning shrub. - Lin Tseng, UK."

    Obviously this fellow got away with pruning the 'Eva' back severely in January.
     
  13. Diane W.

    Diane W. Active Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    Yes, but that is in U.K. Having lived in U.K., I know that here, in Southern Ontario, Canada, plants behave in an entirely different way and have to be treated differently due to our totally different climate.
     
  14. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,495
    Likes Received:
    206
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Yes, but -5 is no where near as low as temps go in Zone 4 (-20 to -30).
     
  15. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Penticton
    That appears to be the case indeed. I thought, that it was because of the black leaves.
    In your Wiki site, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Sambucus_nigra2.jpg, there is a picture of a green leaved elder called 'sambucus nigra' as well as a whole slew of elders listed, but evidently not your yellow-berried one and I could also not find a species with 'icy blue' berries there, which I have seen around, I believe it was even here in the interior of BC.
     
  16. Diane W.

    Diane W. Active Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    I can only go by what the nursery told me when I purchased my first plant as it was new to me, and my own experience. I have just pruned my plants and won't prune them next Spring and I'll see if they flower next June. I have been a gardener for 40 years and can think of no other reason why thy haven't flowered except wrong pruning.
     
  17. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,673
    Likes Received:
    550
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Yes you are cutting off the flowering wood.
     
  18. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Penticton
    Much is being made in all write-ups and comments on 'Eva' of the gorgeous combination of the colours of leaves and blossoms; - and rightly so. Problem is, that this combination lasts only as long as she blooms. That is one of the reasons, why I am asking for the colour of the fruit, as the fruit bearing period in all the elders lasts much longer than the bloom.

    The attached photo shows another idea for showing off the leaves of 'Eva'. I am attempting to surround her with a carpet of 'Angelina stonecrop', in keeping with my practice of using groundcovers for weed control. Of course, there is not much of a carpet yet, since I planted both Eva and Angelina only a month ago. But I believe, that the picture conveys enough of what I am trying to achieve, once the 'carpet' is established. The advantage of that combination is, although not at par with the blossoms, that it will last all growing season.
    Best,
    Olaf
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Penticton
    Hi greenfingers:
    Could you please describe, the procedures you followed? I.e.:
    - Time of year
    - Did you use a rooting compound?
    - Simply one leaf pair in the rooting medium (sand?) one above?
    - I assume, that you stripped the leaves? Partly or wholly? Or did you do the rooting in spring, before the leaves were formed?

    The reason I am asking all these questions, is that I have only one very young plant and have therefore very few potential cuttings to harvest, thus want to avoid needless experimentation.

    Thanks in advance,
    Olaf
     
  20. Diane W.

    Diane W. Active Member

    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    Olafhenny,

    I have found that this plant is so easy to root that I have taken cuttings at various times between May and September. I take a cutting of 2 or 3 sets of leaves. Strip the leaves except for the top pair. Cut the stem at a slant immediately below the nodes of the lower stripped leaves. Dip in root hormone and plant in a 4 ins. pot of damp peat moss and sharp sand. Enclose in a plastic bag tied at the top with an elastic band and keep in a shady place. Check regularly to ensure the pot hasn't dried out. After 5 or 6 weeks, if you pull gently on the cutting, you can tell if roots have started to form. Once they have, gradually open the plastic bag. Before long, you should see roots starting to come out of the bottom of the pot. It is now ready to plant. I hope this is helpful.
    I take many cuttings of plants and usually expect only 50-60 percent to take root. With Black Lace, I have never had a failure.
     
  21. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Penticton
    Great, thank you greenfingers, I will try to do that, although time is quite short, since I will leave for a 2 months trip to Europe in about 6 weeks.
    Best,
    Olaf
     
  22. Olafhenny

    Olafhenny Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Penticton
    Hi greenfingers, I have done the deed, but with my time constraints, I have varied your procedure a bit: Instead of 4" pots I have used 6' ones and filled the bottom 2 inches with a very rich compost. For the top I copied your formula precisely, though I have cut most the above ground leaves off.
    The intent is, that I can leave the plants in the pots until I return early October and plant them then. In the meantime their roots will be able to dive down into the compost for sustenance.
    Thanks again,
    Olaf
     

Share This Page