Sambucus nigra Black Beauty

mrgpagSeptember 22, 2003

Anyone growing this plant and if so, how do you like it? I sold a bunch of them during our Spring Sale at Cox Arboretum, but never got any feedback on how they did. I didn't care much for it myself, but the plant was getting a lot of advertising hype from Color Choice so thought I'd grow some and offer them to our member customers.

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viburnumvalley(z5/6 KY)

Time for this to move off the top line.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2003 at 11:12AM
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Thanks for getting it on the move LOL.

BTW did you receive my e-mail pertaining to some Firmiana simplex seed?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2003 at 11:23AM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Got curious and ran a loose search.

How interesting! What didn't you like about it? Sounds like a very cool shrub - is it all this link says it is? Always looking for neato "bones" for my garden.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2003 at 8:28AM
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That link is several years old and is from a European establishment. A more recent and closer to home link is attached. I grew these in containers for a year, never did get a good dark purple color, was coarse, sorta smelled when you handled the foliage, and the one we planted at the Arboretum was eaten by the deer so never really had a chance to evaluate it in the landscape. Conversations with some folks in England indicated the plant needed a couple years to mature and get that good dark color. It also did not winter over very well in pots, even when protected in a polyhouse. Numerous nurseries in this area that I talked to lost maybe a third of their stock - I experienced that as well.

But some plants grow much better in the ground than in pots, and since none of my customers reported back with comments, I got curious what others might have experienced.

Thanks for the reply

Here is a link that might be useful: Sambucus Black Beauty

    Bookmark   November 13, 2003 at 2:19PM
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henryr10(z6 OH)

Sorry I just ran across your post.
I bought one at Cox so probably from you!
It's doing well and did infact get a little black color.
I have heavily mulched and caged it so we'll see what happens in it's second season here.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2003 at 12:31PM
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Ric - thanks for the reply and info. Have you been to the arboretum lately. all the new facilities opened this week - pretty awesome - stop out and take a look. Let me know when you can be there and I'll give you a tour and show you next years plant sale offerings.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2003 at 7:21PM
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henryr10(z6 OH)

Thanks for the generous offer!!
After growing up in Kett. and working in Moraine, we're now based east of Cincy and don't often get back up there.
I will though make a special effort to see the new facility before Spring.
Having watched it grow from it's rather primitive beginnings to a VERY class act has been very rewarding!

May I add to anyone who hasn't been to the Spring Sale.
Put the date on your calender and attend.

We drive an hour and half every year just for the incredible plants, many you will not be able to find
short of having them shipped in, at very reasonable prices.
Add the fact that in many cases the original growers are selling them, you get GREAT info given by very caring people.
To that add the carnival atmosphere and you have a whale of a garden party!!!


    Bookmark   November 19, 2003 at 8:12PM
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jonmerr2(Z6 sw OH)

When is the spring sale next year? We held our Miami Valley Hosta Society meetings at Cox, and have watched the progress of the new building. It is going to be great. John

    Bookmark   November 27, 2003 at 9:38AM
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John, in 2004 we are planning for the sale as follows:
Members Preview Thursday evening prior to Mothers Day which is the 6th of May - I think. Then open to the public on Friday and Saturday. And I hope the planners have been in touch with you folks being part of the sale as we no longer have a hosta group.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2003 at 8:12PM
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I recently saw this posting, and was interested in this shrub. I am looking for Black leaved plants for my garden.
I had Black magic Elephants Ears the last two years, and i love them. I was wondering about this Sambucus species. It sounds as though it can get quite large.
I live in Memphis Zone 7, and was thinking of planting
one of these on the North end of house. It gets part shade to shade. I understand that is what they prefer. Are they fairly easy to keep at a managable size?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2005 at 11:47AM
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sunburygirl(z5 OH)

I was excited about Black Beauty after checking out the same links you have. Wonderful pictures! I plunked down more money than I'd normally spend for a three gallon disappointment. It was lanky, lacked vigor and refused to take on any form or height even with careful pruning. It wanted to be a snaky, dull, greenish black groundcover! I debated caring for it another five years.... and gave it away. Maybe in the right place (edge of a forest, under the sea?) and given time it might have made an interesting plant, but I wasn't impressed.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 6:45PM
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Thanks for the comments SunburyGirl - are you acquainted with a couple rather noted folks in the world of horticulture - Tracy and Dan - who live in your area?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2005 at 7:25PM
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sunburygirl(z5 OH)

Don't know them personally. Is Tracy the one that wrote the Well Tended Perennial Garden (that's my paraphrase of the title because I can't remember it exactly!)? I know that author lives somewhere near Sunbury, but again, I haven't met her.

I see you're a conifer nut! So am I. I'm busy planning to get some beauties, but it's tough because the they are expensive and you almost have to order from afar. I'm taking my first trip to Dawes this spring because I want to check out their conifer collection.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 10:22AM
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Yes, that's Tracy. And Dan has a small nursery southeast of town out in the country. I've been there, but can't recall exactly how I got there. He has some neat conifers too. As for Dawes - do go and be sure to take in their spring sale usually the second Saturday morning of May. Checkout their website for exact dates and remember the sale is from 9-12 Saturday only so get there early. They always have some neat plants for sale. And while you're in the area, Wilson's Garden Center catty corner from "The Basket" and of course Baker's Acres just west of Alexandria

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 7:11PM
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sunburygirl(z5 OH)

You're making me slobber! I'll check out Dawes site so I don't miss the sale. Do you know what Dan's nursery is called?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 9:13AM
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I erred on the name - it's Dave Dannaher and here's a link to the business

Here is a link that might be useful: Dannaher Landscaping

    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 11:49AM
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henryr10(z6 OH)

Well the S. nigra 'Black Beauty' made it thru the Winter here in Cincy w/ no protection and no problems.
It is now well budded up and about 4 1/2' tall.
We added another one after getting the one at Cox.
Both did well.
We even found an unmarked Sambucus nigra 'Laciniata' in a 3 gallon pot for a buck at an end of season sale.
It has 1" shoots going.
I checked the Nigra BB w/ a friend in England.
He says two years in the ground for good root production.
Then the color really pops. Our buds are totally black and the stems are much darker than when we got it.
We'll see how is goes this Summer.

We have already marked our calender for the show in May.
Any surprises?? Prebuying allowed?? hint hint lol

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 8:49PM
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Henryr10, become a member and shop the Thursday night Preview

Expect an e-mail in a day or two regarding your other question.

And be sure to look me up when you come up.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 9:42PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Mrgpag, do you think you will be offering them this year? I'd like to try one, even if I am disappointed. I will definitely be there again this year. It really is a great sale.

When is the wildflower sale this year?


    Bookmark   March 23, 2005 at 11:50PM
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Jean I do not have any this year, but I believe Greenfield Plant Farm may have some for sale.
The Wildflower sale is the 23rd of April.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cox Arboretum and Gardens

    Bookmark   March 24, 2005 at 7:03AM
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