European Red Elder 'Lemony Lace'

Sambucus racemosa

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Sambucus (sam-BYOO-kus) (Info)
Species: racemosa (ray-see-MO-suh) (Info)
Cultivar: Lemony Lace
Additional cultivar information:(aka Lemon Lace, Lemony Lace, SMNSRD4)
Hybridized by T. Wood



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Buffalo, New York

Northport, New York

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 12, 2017, su_rose from Northport, NY wrote:

Planted in early summer 2016, it is now ab.4 ft tall and 2.5 ft wide. Tends to throw branches around. Wish it had more rounded, fuller habit. The golden leaf color turns to green as the summer progresses. Foliage is lacy as the name indicates, so thats good. It is growing in dappled shade and some direct sun in garden soil on a slope facing west. Zone 7a. Gets regular watering if no rains for a couple of days.


On Feb 25, 2017, PhillyLover from Philadelphia Suburbs, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Two years ago I planted several of these in two different areas of the garden. One area is 3/4 day sun in great garden soil, the other in 1/2 day sun in heavier, wetter soil. The plants that receive more sun and are in great soil grow better. The foliage is beautiful and very eye-catching. The flowers, which before they open remind me of broccoli florets, develop very early in the spring and may get damaged by a late frost. My plants have never set fruit. Maybe this variety is not self-fruitful? By the second year after planting, they were already 6' tall. The growth develops so quickly that the stems are often not straight up but bend at different angles. This is really only noticeable in winter when they sort of remind me of octopus arms. Last summer I had fast dieback in a few stems in ... read more


On Jun 27, 2015, treelady1948 from Brattleboro, VT wrote:

I saw this plant at a garden center and fell in love with the color. I did not buy it because I fear it is susceptible to stem borers like the black lace elderberry. I will buy this if I can be confident it doesn't get the stem borers.


On Dec 9, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A shrub grown mainly for its lacy, ferny golden-chartreuse foliage. The white flowers are much less showy than those of the American or European elders. Produces inedible showy scarlet fruit in late summer.

Less vigorous and much less heat tolerant than S. canadensis. May need some protection from afternoon sun towards the southern part of its range. Prefers moist well-drained soils. pH adaptable.

Can be cut to the ground in late winter to encourage vigorous shoots. Blooms on old wood.

A cross between S. racemosa 'Southerland Gold' and S. racemosa 'Dropmore Fernleaf', combining the chartreuse foliage color of the former with the more deeply cut leaf shape of the latter.

US PPAF, CAN PBRAF. Unauthorized propagation prohibit... read more