LEMONY LACE® Elderberry

Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7 Exposure: Part Sun Height: 3-5' Width/Spread: 3-.5'

Super detailed leaves and eye-catching coloring give Lemony Lace elderberry undeniable landscape presence. Its foliage groups in interesting ways, giving the plant an irregular mounded habit. This rather elegant irregularity is highlighted by the different colors the foliage takes on at different stages of maturity. It emerges a pretty burgundy in early spring, turns to lemony yellow, and softens to chartreuse or lime green depending on the sun exposure it receives.

Aesthetically, it can easily slip into any garden style, perhaps a Japanese-style garden, mimicking a carefully trimmed maple or a tropical-style garden that celebrates bright colors. Its care is just as easy to manage. Leave it alone, and it’ll produce white flowers in spring and red berries by fall. Cut it down each spring, and it will act as a sort of perennial. Practically speaking, it’s resistant to sunburn, deer, and black walnut! Giving you the confidence you need to plant it even in the trickiest spots.

Why grow Lemony Lace elderberry?

  • Fabulous color throughout the growing season
  • Tough landscape performance
  • Fine texture perfect for contrasting with other plants


Light: Gets the best foliage color and flower set when exposed to a minimum of four hours of sun, up to all day exposure.

Soil: Will grow in most soil types.

Water: Thrives in a range of conditions and is actually quite drought tolerant once it’s established.

Fertilizing: Doesn’t really need fertilizer, but you can apply some in the springtime if you’ve noticed the flower coverage isn’t that impressive.

Pruning: Doesn’t typically need pruning as it develops a whimsical sort of habit on its own. However, you can cut it back each year as you would with other elderberries to treat it like a perennial of sorts. This will remove the plant’s ability to produce flowers and subsequent fruits, but it is entirely up to your aesthetic preferences!

Other: Birds enjoy the fruit, but it is poisonous to humans. Its very bright red color and attractive appearance may draw a child’s attention.

Botanical Name

Sambucus racemosa 'SMNSRD4' PP#26,613, CBR#5719


4, 5, 6, 7

Flower Color


Foliage Color







Part Sun


Moist, Wet

Season of Interest

Fall, Spring, Summer


Containers, Foundations


Award winner, Deer resistant, Foliage interest, Native


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Gardening Simplified magazine
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