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Sambucus nigra 'Aurea'

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Shrub

Habit

Bushy

Fragrance

Flower

Toxicity

All parts may cause discomfort if ingested although the berries can be edible if cooked

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Flower

White in Summer

Foliage

Yellow in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Fruit

Black and Purple in Autumn

Size

Ultimate height

2.5-4 metres

Ultimate spread

2.5-4 metres

Time to ultimate height

10-20 years


Preferred common name

golden elder

Family

Adoxaceae


Sambucus can be herbaceous perennials, deciduous shrubs or small trees, with pinnate leaves and umbels or panicles of small creamy-white flowers followed by red, white or black berries

'Aurea' is a large, bushy deciduous shrub with pinnate, deep golden-yellow leaves and flattish heads of small, scented creamy-white flowers followed by purple-black berries

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • North-facing, East-facing, South-facing or West-facing
  • Sheltered or Exposed

Cultivation

Easy to grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soils and also thrives on extremely chalky sites

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by softwood or hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Coastal, Low Maintenance, Hedging/Screens or Wildlife Gardens


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 1 or coppice every 3 to 4 years. Tolerates hard size-restricting pruning

Pests

Can get blackfly and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases

May be subject to verticillium wilt