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Lemony Lace® Elderberry Sambucus racemosa

Flower Season
  • Summer
  • Fall
Mature Size
7' 7'
Height: 4' - 7'
Spread: 4' - 7'
  • Details


    A bright and stylish plant with an easy-going nature.

    Ever wish our popular Black Lace® elderberry came in a sunny bright yellow? We are happy to oblige: Lemony Lace® offers finely dissected foliage but in a cheery gold color to really light up your landscape. This North American native produces big clusters of white flowers in early spring before the foliage emerges, then bright yellow leaves take over, edged in red. As the foliage ages, it turns an attractive chartreuse. Though it is a large plant, it can be pruned to stay smaller if you'd like. A People's Choice Award winner at the 2014 Farwest Horticulture Trade Show, Lemony Lace Sambucus also won a Green Thumb Award from the Direct Gardening Association.

    Top reasons to grow Lemony Lace elderberry:

    • very colorful from spring through fall
    • little to no maintenance required
    • showy white flowers in spring
    • very deer resistant
    Produces Berries
    Foliage Interest
    Fall Interest
    Native to North America


    Plant Type: 
    Shrub Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    48 - 84 Inches
    48 - 84 Inches
    48 - 84 Inches
    Flower Colors: 
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    golden with red new growth
    Container Role: 

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Sun to Sun
    Light Requirement: 

    The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

    Maintenance Category: 
    Blooms On: 
    Old Wood
    Bloom Time: 
    Grown for Foliage
    Hardiness Zones: 
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
    Heat Zones: 
    Water Category: 
    Border Plant
    Specimen or Focal Point
    Uses Notes: 

    This distinctive golden, thread-like foliage looks wonderful in mixed borders or as a high-impact specimen plant. Plant it with Black Lace sambucus for a really bold statement! The red fall fruit makes it a good addition to wildlife gardens.

    Maintenance Notes: 

    Benefits from hard pruning as a young plant to develop a nice full habit. Older plants can be trimmed after flowering. This plant blooms on old wood, so spring pruning will reduce flower production. Adaptable to most well-drained soils.

    Lemony Lace® Sambucus racemosa 'SMNSRD4' USPP 26,613, Can 5,719
  • 21 Reviews

    Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
    • While it’s a beautiful plant, mine died within a week of bringing it home from the nursery. It looks like it came with the Elderberry Borer Beetle, which is unfortunate.

      Beth Smith
      , British Columbia
      , Canada
      , 24 weeks ago
    • I bought 5 Lemony Lace bushes and this is their third year. Two are growing in full sun and three in partial shade. The ones in full sun seem to grow faster, but the branches on all the bushes are very brittle. They arrived with broken branches and even now the branches will break if you even look at them cross-eyed. Each spring I start over with a very small plant.

      Marilyn Battiste
      , Michigan
      , United States
      , 25 weeks ago
    • I purchased this shrub online just few days ago and it arrived to me in a disastrous condition. All buds and freshly emerged foliage were totally wilted. The plant spent 50 hours in delivery, placed in a small cartoon box together with other plants, so my first thought was that the shrub was stressed with shipping conditions and didn't get enough oxygen or water. However all other delivered plants were very fine. So I watered the shrub and placed in a shaded and cool room for two days. Unfortunately it hasn't started to recover, buds are still wilted and now I suspect that it is suffering from verticilium wilt and it was already infected with the disease in the nursery.

      , Poland
      , 30 weeks ago
    • Loved the plant but it got the verticillium wilt and had to be removed and the soil around it removed. Can't plant anything similar in that location now. I suspect it came with the plant when we purchased it. The nursery told us to trim it back in late winter it will be fine. Really suspect it had it when we purchased it.

      , Indiana
      , United States
      , 34 weeks ago
    • Not sure what killed it. Zone 5b 6a border, 3rd year of growth on an established plant In a place I consider a prime location on south facing bed, sheltered by house and trellis, sees 6hrs of direct afternoon sun daily, with 4 to 5 hrs partial shade. A mature plant 6ft high 8 ft wide, dropped all leaves late June...dead. It was the third year in this location. Nearby plants such as hibiscus, elephant ears, clematis, coral bells, Japanese maples, dwarf crab are all unaffected and thriving. It sure left an ugly hole, but while it existed it was such a beautiful plant!

      , Indiana
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
    • Elderberry borer beetle can cause the new shoots to wilt and they make holes in the stem of the branches.

      J RICE
      , Ontario
      , Canada
      , 2 years ago
    • The wilt gardeners are experiencing with this plant is likely verticillium wilt, a soil-borne disease that emerges only in certain years and is very difficult to eradicate unless you are willing to solarize your soil. I lost three cotinus (8') to this a couple of years ago. It is heartbreaking. This is such a beautiful plant. Perhaps planting it as a container plant with sterile soil would help - it is a shame to lose a plant to this disease.

      Lisa J
      , New York
      , United States
      , 2 years ago
    • I planted lemony lime elderberry three years ago and it is truly lovely. It still needs to balance a bit, but the height is 6' and width is 4.5 feet, so I expect the horizontal expansion to come in the next two years as I can see the growth in that direction. The colors it expresses are maroon, bright yellow, and bright green, with white blossoms. It is one of the most favorite bushes I have used in my gardening experience over the last 25 years. I have a small garden now and it is the star. I do not water unless it is has been dry for more than a week. I am in zone 6 and it is planted at the top of a slight downward grade, which is great for drainage.

      , Michigan
      , United States
      , 3 years ago
    • I had mine planted in a full sun location two years ago and it almost died. Moved it to a more dappled sun and now it’s crazy big

      , Ontario
      , Canada
      , 4 years ago
    • Bought this plant last year from PW, planted in the ground right away per the PW instructions. In spite of our harsh winter it did survive; however, only half of the shrub. I had branches with no buds this spring and if you touched the branches they broke off because dry and dead. The other half of the shrub is full of thick buds ready to open and lots of flowers. I cut the dried, dead branches off. At the base of those branches there was new growth starting to sprout and the cut was made above the new growth. It's a beautiful shrub and hoping the new growth will eventually fill out the entire plant.

      Patricia Stromgren
      , Minnesota
      , United States
      , 4 years ago
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