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Lemony Lace® Elderberry Sambucus racemosa

  • Part Sun to Sun
  • Sun

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).

Flower Season
  • Summer
  • Fall
Mature Size
60" 60"
36 - 60"
36 - 60"
  • 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: 
    36 - 60 Inches
    36 - 72 Inches
    36 - 60 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: 
    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
    Edible Herb
    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
  • 12 Reviews

    • 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
      , 30 weeks 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
      , 1 year 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
      , 1 year ago
    • I bought 2 of these Sambucus last summer, and they did well and I let them be for the winter. This Spring I see that one is full of foliage and looking good, but not Proven Winners good. The other is just a stick with one bud trying to grow. This is a frequent problem with quart size shrubs, as the root isn't mature enough to withstand the change in seasons. Will wait until a larger size is available to purchase, as I still would like to see the beautiful shrub thrive.

      , Virginia
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
    • Our Lemony Lace bloomed beautifully in the spring then suddenly lost most of its leaves. Our nursery determined that the soil was not draining well enough after a period of rain. It does not like "wet feet". Once the soil dried out, it produced some new growth but was basically barren for the rest of the season, a big disappointment. The soil can be amended to improve drainage.

      Zoe Kaminski
      , Connecticut
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
    • As some of the other reviewers indicated, my Limelight plant was growing just fine and suddenly poof, all the leaves wilted and died last summer. I noted that the bark close to the ground was peeling away. This plant was growing in a row with 4 other Limelights and they are all fine. I have noticed it is putting out new growth this Spring but it will be noticeably smaller than others this Summer. Why did this happen?

      Leslie Lansing
      , New York
      , United States
      , 2 years ago
    • This has been one of my favorite plants for a couple of years. It's striking in the garden, and the leaves work wonderfully in arrangements. Unfortunately, after 3-years of healthy growth my Lemony Lace quickly succumbed to something. It's in the right light, soil, and had been doing well. I was going to buy two more plants, but now I'm not so sure. If PW could give me an idea of what's killing my plant and I'm able to fix the problem I would buy more plants.

      , Connecticut
      , United States
      , 3 years ago
    • Instant Karma elderberry is simply stunning and looks beautiful paired with Black Lace elderberry.

      Vicki Estevez
      , Maryland
      , United States
      , 3 years ago
    • I bought two last year and they looked nice but one looks like it's dead, same with Susan comment from Ohio, the other looked great till a few days ago. this is only August. so what is the deal? anyone know? the one that "died" like it seemed to last year, but came back this spring, is in a slightly sunnier location, it does get hot afternoon sun but I make sure they have enough water. now it's been raining all the time and the 2nd plant is looking odd.

      , Michigan
      , United States
      , 4 years ago
    • I would like to know what happened. My Lemony Lace Elderberry was planted in a partly sunny location and seemed to be thriving. It survived winter and the rains of early summer. Then - sudden death. The plant was totally wilted and I do not believe it was from lack of moisture.

      , Iowa
      , United States
      , 5 years ago
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