Lemony Lace Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa ‘SMNSRD4’)

Lemony Lace Elderberry

  • Gorgeous Chartreuse Foliage
  • New Growth is Edged in Red
  • White Flowers in Spring
  • Red Fall Berries Loved by Songbirds
  • Informal Look
  • Tough, Rugged and Widely Adaptable
  • Easy to Grow, with Few Problems
  • Use in Containers
  • Incredible in Cut Flower Arrangements
  • Deer Resistant

If your landscape needs a little boost to take it over the top, this traffic-stopping plant is just the ticket. Compact and colorful, this small shrub makes a big impact in your yard.

Bright yellow, lacy leaves are deeply cut and appear delicate. The fine-textured leaves of Lemon Lace® Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa ‘SMNSRD4’ PP26,613) are simply spectacular. They keep that bright color straight through summer’s heat.

This plant has a free-form upright growth habit. It brings visual energy, especially as the branches sway to and fro in the slightest breeze.

Lemony Lace Elderberry adds an intense pop of color and brings an informal, organic look to the landscape. New leaves open with a slight red tinge, which makes you look twice, or even three times.

Use it where you need something that stays compact and colorful. It will stop you in your tracks. Get ready to have people stop and ask about it.

Lemony Lace blooms before the plants leaf out in spring. The flowers are cone shaped cymes that later produce red berries in late summer or fall. Ornamental berries are like catnip for local songbirds.

Lemony Lace makes a gorgeous, no-fuss addition to any foundation, hedge, or border planting. Combine it with burgundy plants, like Black Lace® Elderberry or a Tiny Wine® Ninebark, and you’ve got a traffic-stopping showpiece in your garden.

The plant displays the most exquisite lemony leaf color in full sun. The new growth holds that nice yellow color, and ages to chartreuse and green inside the plant. It is a brilliant display that can’t be ignored.

Lemony Lace is a tough plant, too. It is very cold hardy and wind resistant, and deer won’t touch it. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil, especially in the North. It does great in partial shade in the South.

This plant is reliable and easy. It is hardy in a wide range of temperatures, adapts to many different soils, and is able to come back from even severe pruning with ease.

How to Use Lemony Lace® Elderberry in the Landscape

Lemony Lace is a name that says it all! This wonderful shrub works as a specimen plant or accent for any landscape. Use a few your sunny perennial border as an accent or use multiple plants as a bright backdrop for shorter plants.

Create a fantastic low screen or informal hedge in a sunny area. Repeat the use of this plant in sunny mixed borders and perennial gardens around your yard to tie each of the beds together as a glamorous, unified whole.

For a solid hedge, space them out 2-3 feet on center. For a looser, more relaxed look, increase the spacing to 3-4 feet. Measure from the center of one to the center of the next.

Lemony Lace Elderberry makes a fantastic focal point for you and your guests to look at as you sit on your porch, deck or patio. Create a fabulous planting by placing a few in front of large evergreen trees.

You can also use the deep, mysterious dark purple of Black Beauty® Elderberry as a backdrop shrub instead. Next, add brilliant contrast and fall color by pairing it with the round, leathery leaves of Blue Shadow Fothergilla shrub. Add evergreen Juniper groundcover to face the front of the planting bed.

Be sure to repeat the golden color in smaller plants like large-leaved, chartreuse Hostas or Emerald n Gold or Blondy Euonymus wintercreeper. Then, punch up the planting bed with a few containers of bright annuals that you change out every year. Bright gold Golden Creeping Jenny would make a perfect coordinating Spiller in these containers.

Have fun with this plant!

Be sure to invest in a good pair of binoculars to keep near your outdoor furniture. You’d be amazed how relaxing it is to do some bird watching in your own yard. And birds do love those berries.

Some Elderberries produce edible berries that can be used in jelly, but not this variety. Lemony Lace berries are just ornamental for humans.

They will tolerate most any soils. Lemony Lace introduces brilliant yellow color in Rain Gardens, natural wetlands and waterfront property.

Tips for Care

While tough Elderberry shrubs can handle dry, wet, sun and partial shade, please know you’ll get the best color in full sun. There will be more green leaves inside and underneath the plant in partial shade.

Likewise, it prefers rich, moist, slightly acidic soils, but quite tolerant of most any soil. It will appreciate a moderate amount of water given on a regular basis.

Elderberries are rugged plants that benefits from hard pruning. It’s especially helpful to do hard pruning as a young plant to develop a bushy growth habit. In spring after the first season, cut all the branches back to within 12 inches of the ground.

To produce berries, you’ll need a Black Lace®, Instant Karma®, or Black Beauty® elderberry as a pollinator to produce the red fruit. Remember they bloom on last year’s wood so if you cut your plant down in fall or spring you will have eliminated the bloom for that year.

The Lemony Lace sambucus foliage emerges in early spring and produces gorgeous clusters of white flowers. We suggest that you wait until after the blooms are past before pruning.

Elderberries respond beautifully to periodic pruning. You can plan to cut the oldest growth down to the ground every year or so. This practice will keep the plants rejuvenated.

Some homeowners cut all the branches down to the ground each year. This produces vivid, fresh new growth and keeps Lemony Lace plants smaller.

This field-tested Proven Winners® selection might steal the show with it’s bright yellow, finely dissected leaves. Go with it, you’ll love this special variety.

Lemony Lace Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa ‘SMNSRD4’) Details

Common name Lemony Lace Elderberry
Botanical name Sambucus racemosa 'SMNSRD4'
Plant type Deciduous
Hardiness zone 4-7
Growth rate Medium
Height 3 - 5 ft.
Width 3 - 5 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun, Partial Shade
Moisture Medium
Soil condition Widely Adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Flower color White