Shrub Identification

(Question)

Hi, spotted this black leaf shrub on day trip to Acton, Ontario weekend of September 20th. It was about 4 feet high and I could not see any flowers, just the lovely purple black leaves. Though it could be sand cherry but scoured the internet and probably not. Planted in full sun. I would have asked the homeowner, but I live in Toronto and probably won’t return to Acton soon. Thank you!

 

 

(Answer)

What you saw is most likely the gorgeous Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diablo’, one of the varieties of the deciduous Eastern Ninebark, a popular variety with its maple-shaped, burgundy-coloured leaves.  The Ninebark is a shrub that is easy to grow, and lovely to look at in all seasons.  It produces an abundance of pale pink-tinged white flowers in June.   This shrub can grow to about ten feet, but with annual pruning can be kept to a smaller size if preferred.