European red elder

Sambucus racemosa ‘Sutherland Gold’

Photo/Illustration: 
Michelle Gervais
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European red elder (Sambucus racemosa ‘Sutherland Gold’)
sam-BOO-kus rass-ih-MOE-sah
Genus:  Sambucus
This choice specimen has a graceful habit with finely divided golden foliage that emerges as bronze. It is less susceptible to sun scorch than the other gold varieties. It bears creamy white flowers that mature into red fruits. 
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Sambucus is suitable for mixed or shrub borders or for naturalizing in wild areas; cultivars with colored foliage such as this one are effective as specimens. The fruits of this genus have culinary attributes when cooked, but can cause illness if eaten raw, or if the poisonous seeds are consumed.
Care:  Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil, preferably with morning full sun and afternoon shade. Sambucus may be pruned minimally to maintain a healthy framework, but it benefits from hard pruning to restict its size. Cultivars like this one that are grown for their foliage may be cut back annually to within 2 or 3 buds from a permanent framework.
Propagation:  Sow seed in a cold frame in the fall; take softwood cuttings in early summer and hardwood cuttings in winter.
Problems:  Powdery mildew, canker, dieback, rust, fungal leaf spots, borers, virus diseases.

Overview

Height
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Spread
6 ft. to 10 ft.
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Attracts Birds,
Attracts Butterflies,
Fragrant Flowers,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Fruit
Bloom Time
Summer
Flower Color
White Flower,
Yellow Flower
Foliage Color
Colorful/Burgundy Foliage
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Poisonous,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Style
Cottage Garden
Seasonal Interest
Spring Interest
Type
Shrubs

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