Forsythia — Forsythia x intermedia
Forsythia are a genus of angiosperm in the same family of shrubs and small trees as olive plants. Despite the common use of their name, 11 different species of plants share the name “forsythia,” and all but one of them are native to eastern Asia. As deciduous shrubs, most species of forsythia reach a maximum height of about 3 meters, though some rarer species can grow to twice that height. Like their olive plant cousins, forsythia are drought-tolerant but thrive in warm to temperate climates in soil that is hard but moist. Every year in early spring, forsythia are amongst the first to bloom and will briefly display a veritable explosion of yellow blossoms.This symbol of spring is unmistakable with its sizzling, sun yellow blossoms that crowd the many branches and come out well before the leaves. Planted as a hedge or on a hillside or in a sunny glade in a woodland garden, the forsythia makes quite a statement. The flowers are tubular at the base and have star-shaped lobes. The shrub usually grows about 24 inches a year. The tough forsythia also tolerates being nibbled by deer, clay soil, compacted soil, and pollution. It can even tolerate being planted near a black walnut tree, which usually poisons the soil around itself. But to keep a forsythia perfectly happy, it needs loose, somewhat moist and well-drained soil. It needs to be pruned to the ground immediately after its spring flowering. Old wood should also be removed. Pruning forsythia in the summer prevents it from flowering the next spring. When the leaves finally appear on the forsythia, bright green, opposite and toothed around their upper half. In the fall they turn yellow, though in some cultivars the leaves are purplish. As the shrub leafs out the spent blossoms fall to the ground, and in some species, they will take root there since the forsythia self-fertilizes.