I'm so fancy: Lemony Lace Sambucus


Among the new plant introductions for 2015, Lemony Lace™ elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) is developing a reputation as an attention hog. At the 66th Annual Garden Writers Association Symposium, it was the first plant people noticed in a booth full of new Proven Winners® annual, perennial, and shrub varieties. It beckoned writers to come closer and ask, "What is that? Tiger Eyes Sumac?" No, no, friends, it is something much better. Same color, but more compact, non-suckering, and with flowers. A deep and entranced "Oooh" escaped their lips. I was out of samples the first day.

Showing off at Farwest
A week later, the golden boy won two awards at the Farwest show in Portland, OR. First, it was deemed an "outstanding plant," earning the Award of Merit in the New Plant Showcase. Second, The Garden Center Group gave it the Retailers Choice Award. Danny Summers, Managing Director for The Garden Center Group, remarked, “This distinctive golden, thread-like foliage looks wonderful in mixed borders or as a high-impact specimen plant."

Why the hullabaloo? Lemony Lace elderberry's golden yellow, finely-cut foliage is highlighted by red new growth to create eye-catching texture in the landscape. Better color retention and sun tolerance makes it an option for both full sun and part shade gardens. At 3-5’ tall and wide, it is more compact than ‘Sutherland Gold’ and also features more deeply cut foliage. White spring flowers produce red fruit in fall. This North American native is deer resistant and hardy to USDA Zone 3.

No wonder it's showboating across the country. Lemony Lace elderberry possesses a versatile set of characteristics: multi-season interest, native, deer resistance, cold hardy, fruit for the birds, compact for small gardens... all deserving story topics.

Visit the slideshow of all twenty new Proven Winners ColorChoice shrubs for 2015. If you'd like more information or high resolution photos of Lemony Lace elderberry, let me know!

Lemony Lace elderberry in the landscape: add a pair of googly eyes, and you'd have the most adorable muppet.

The red new growth contrasts with the lemon-lime foliage.


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