Freaky Fun Foliage A-Z (part 1)

When making your next tree, shrub or perennial plant purchase, think first about plants that have attractive foliage. It could be a plant with variegated foliage, but there are many other types of leaves that add interest to the landscape. Plants offer a wide array of foliage colors such as yellow, chartreuse, blue, orange, copper, bright reds, dark burgundy and even black. 

 Albizia  Summer Chocolate
Mini Salsa Berberis 
Green leafed plants can also have interesting leaves as well. First off there is an endless range of green hues. Leaf texture also adds interest. Leave texture varies greatly from finely cut leaf, to wavy, to crinkled, to big and bold, all of which provide variation and texture that can make a garden more interesting.  

Pucker Up Cornus
Crème Fraîche Deutzia 
Goldy Euonymus 
Forsythia 'Kumson' 
Bangle Genista
Hydrangea a. petiolaris 'Firefly'
Castle Gold Ilex 
 More to come . . .

Lemony Lace™ Sambucus

As many of you know I have a fondness for Sambucus (elder or elderberry). Here is a new variety that should be a great garden companion to Black Lace Sambucus. This one is called Lemony Lace elder and is the result of a cross between Sambucus racemosa 'Sutherland Gold', a gold leaf selection from Les Kerr, and Sambucus racemosa 'Dropmore Fernleaf', a finely cut, green leaf plant that came from Canadian plant breeder Frank Skinner.  Lemon Lace elder combines the best characteristics of each parent giving us a compact plant, with extremely fine cut, lemon-lime foliage.  

This is one rugged plant. The seedlings that come out of the initial cross were planted out in full sun to cull out the weaker, more burn susceptible plants. After four years and a lot of dead and tattered seedlings, Lemony Lace elder emerged the survivor of the fittest.


Much like 'Sutherland Gold', the foliage emermges an attractive dark red, then changes to yellow as the foliage matures. Unlike Black Lace and Black Beauty  which are cultivars of the European species Sambucus nigra, Sambucus racemosa does not have showy flowers. And instead of edible, black fruit, this species has bright red fruit that should never be eaten. 

Hardy in zones 3-7, Lemony Lace elder is adaptable most climates and to most well drained soils. In northern regions it will do best in full sun and will require some dappled shade in warmer southern climates. It appears that this selection is lower and wider in stature compared 'Southerland Gold'. It is most certainly smaller in stature than Black Beauty and Black Lace elderberries. If you love yellow leafed plants or if you like fine textured plants Sambucus Black Lace then this may be a plant for you.