Plant Finder


Want to find the perfect plant for your landscape, or identify a mystery plant? Hartman Garden Center has an online Plant Finder to help you with your task. Remember, the best solution is always to talk to our plant and landscaping experts. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (952) 443-2990.


    Madonna Elder

    Sambucus nigra 'Madonna'

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    Madonna Elder (Sambucus nigra 'Madonna') at Hartman Companies

    Madonna Elder foliage

    Madonna Elder foliage

    (Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

    Madonna Elder (Sambucus nigra 'Madonna') at Hartman Companies

    Madonna Elder

    Madonna Elder

    (Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

    Height:  10 feet

    Spread:  8 feet

    Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

    Hardiness Zone:  4

    Other Names:  Common Elder


    An attractive garden shrub with golden-variegated foliage, showy clusters of small, creamy white flowers in spring followed by black berries and thick, pithy stems, quite coarse in winter; compact habit and very adaptable, survives with minimal care

    Ornamental Features

    Madonna Elder features showy clusters of fragrant buttery yellow flowers held atop the branches in late spring. It has attractive yellow-variegated green foliage throughout the season. The compound leaves are highly ornamental and turn yellow in fall. The black fruits are held in clusters in early fall.

    Landscape Attributes

    Madonna Elder is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

    This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

    • Suckering

    Madonna Elder is recommended for the following landscape applications;

    • Accent
    • Mass Planting
    • Hedges/Screening
    • General Garden Use
    • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

    Planting & Growing

    Madonna Elder will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 8 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

    This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under average home landscape conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.

    Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
    Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden  Naturalizing 
    Flowers  Fruit  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
    Ornamental Features
    Member, MN Nursery & Landscape Association
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