• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Sambucus nigra 'Aurea'

golden elder

golden elder

© RHS 2002

  • Other common names golden elder

  • Family Adoxaceae

  • Genus 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

  • Details '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

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Fragrance Flower

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

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect North-facing or East-facing or South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered or Exposed

Soil

  • Chalk

    Chalk

  • Chalk

    Clay

  • Chalk

    Sand

  • Chalk

    Loam

  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Sand, Loam

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral

Size

  • Ultimate height 2.5-4 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

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

Propagation Propagate by softwood or hardwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Hedging & Screens Coastal 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

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