For those who love the look of the Japanese maple but have a hard time getting one to grow in their climate, the new 'Black Lace' elderberry (Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace') is a good substitute. 'Black Lace' quickly grows into a shrub 6 feet tall and wide. It produces lemon-scented, 6-inch-diameter pink flower clusters in spring and bunches of blackish red berries in summer. The real eye-catcher is the fern-like, lacey black foliage. The rich, chocolate color holds throughout the summer.
'Black Lace' not only gives a striking appearance when grown as a specimen shrub in the landscape, but the berries are attractive to birds, making it an excellent wildlife plant. It's hardy in USDA zones 4 to 7 and grows best in full sun on well-drained soil.
For more information on 'Black Lace' elderberry, go to Wayside Gardens.