Elizabeth Friedman Sauber, 78, who had served as a hostess at many of Washington's flower and garden shows at the D.C. Armory, died Wednesday at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. She lived in Chevy Chase.

She was the widow of Julius M. Sauber, a well-known area florist and former president of the Allied Florists Association, who died last March.

Mrs. Sauber immigrated to the Washington area with her family from Radom, Poland, in 1911.

She was a member of the Social Workers Club and Adas Israel Congregation. She was a trustee of the Walter Kempner Foundation, designed to promote medical research at Duke University in North Carolina.

She is survived by a duaghter, Barbara Melnicove of Bethesda; a son, Frank, of Rockville; three sisters, Ida Haimovicz and Ethl Povich, both of Washington, and Jeanie Cohan of Takoma Park; three brothers, Sol and I. W. 1friedman, both of Washington, and Morrie Friedman of Fairfax five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the ALS Foundation, 15300 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, Calif., 91403, or to the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville.