Family: Oleaceae

This small genus of deciduous shrubs, with all but one species native to China and Korea; is grown mainly for the profusion of yellow, star-shaped flowers that appear before the leaves in spring.


F. 'Beatrix Farrand' is a popular hybrid with a bushy habit, 2 m (6 ft) high and wide, and large, deep yellow blooms from early spring.

F. x intermedia is a compact shrub, to 1.5 m (5 ft) tall and wide and the large, yellow flowers appear from early spring. It is mainly the cultivars that are grown. 'Lynwood' grows to 2-3 m (6-10 ft), with large, broad-petalled flowers, 3 cm (1 in) across; 'Spectabilis' was developed in the last century and is still one of the most popular hybrids in this group, grow­ing to 2.5 m (8 ft), with narrow-petalled flow­ers, 3 cm (1 in) across.

F. ovata grows to 1.5 m (5 ft) tall with spreading habit. Generally start­ing to bloom in early spring, this shrub is soon covered with masses of small, cheery yellow flowers, 15 mm (½ in) long.

F. suspensa, golden bells, is a rambling shrub, with very long, slender, arching branches; it may be trained against a wall or allowed to droop over a fence. Clusters of bright yellow, pendulous flowers are followed by attractive, bright green, oval leaves. It grows to 3 m (10 ft).


Forsythia is easy to grow in ordi­nary garden soil, in full sun or dappled shade. Prune right after flowering, cutting back old flowered wood to younger shoots lower down. Never prune in winter or flowers will be lost. Propagate from softwood cuttings in spring or early summer, from semi-ripe cuttings in late summer, or from hardwood cuttings in autumn or winter.


Zone 5. Best in cool, moist climates. Flowering tends to be poor or absent if climate is too warm.

Flindersia      Fouquieria