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Lemony Lace® Elderberry Sambucus racemosa

  • Hardy Zones
    • 3 - 7
  • Exposure
    • Part Sun to Sun
    • Sun
  • Season
    • Summer
    • Fall
  • Mature Size
    • 36 - 60 Inches
Proven Winners® Shrubs
Lemony Lace® Elderberry Sambucus racemosa
Part Sun to Sun 36 - 60


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
  • 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.

    Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
    Patricia Stromgren
    International Falls
    United States
    6 weeks 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.

    Satisfactory Average performance, met expectations but not outstanding.
    Round Hill
    United States
    11 weeks 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.

    Above Average Superior performance, among my favorites, would recommend to others.
    Zoe Kaminski
    United States
    16 weeks 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?

    Marginally Adequate Performed below expectations but may be willing to try again.
    Leslie Lansing
    New York
    United States
    1 year 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.

    Unsatisfied Did not survive, inferior performance or did not bloom well - won't grow again.
    United States
    1 year ago
  • Instant Karma elderberry is simply stunning and looks beautiful paired with Black Lace elderberry.

    Above Average Superior performance, among my favorites, would recommend to others.
    Vicki Estevez
    United States
    2 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.

    Marginally Adequate Performed below expectations but may be willing to try again.
    United States
    2 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.

    Marginally Adequate Performed below expectations but may be willing to try again.
    United States
    3 years ago
  • Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
    Marshall Dirks
    United States
    4 years ago
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