PLANT LIBRARY- Forsythia, the harbinger of SPRING!

Photo courtesy of Betty Wolverton

Photo courtesy of Betty Wolverton

One of the first harbingers of spring is the Forsythia, Forsythia x intermedia.  This easy-care large shrub boasts profuse bright yellow blooms in late winter, early spring.

Traditionally a 6' high and 10' wide large shrub, plant Forsythia with plenty of room to spread out. best if planted in a landscape border or in an open area where it can get plenty of sunlight for best flowering.

Some old 'standbys' and new varieties have arisen that are worth a try for your new spring project, let's take a look at them:

  • 'Lynwood Gold'- The old standby of the Forythia world, this variety gets 6-8' tall and wide.
  • 'Magical Gold'- 4' high and wide with extra large, rich golden yellow flowers.
  • 'Spring Glory'- More upright grower 8' tall x 6' wide with profuse yellow flowers.
  • White Forsythia, abeliophyllum distichum- while not a  Forsythia, has the same habit and bloom time with bright white flowers with yellow centers.
Photo courtesy of Trine Harritz

Photo courtesy of Trine Harritz

Companion Plants: The key to mixing plant material with Forsythia is to add a contract to the great bloom display. Evergreens can be used as a backdrop and other flowering plants can compliment the yellow color of the Forsythia blooms.

  • Flowering Almond
  • Spirea
  • Flowering Quince

Backdrop shrub sand trees

  • Boxwood
  • Shrub Holly
  • Laurel
  • Japanese Maple
  • Redbud
  • Dogwood

Foreground Plants

  • Tulips
  • Allium
  • Iris
  • Jonquils

Enjoy your Forsythia, the best part is that spring is just around the corner!!

About the Author:

Lori Hawkins, RLA, ASLA has been a registered landscape architect and active in the landscape design/build industry for over 30 years. Her service area includes Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill and the Raleigh NC metro areas. For additional inspiring project pictures, design ideas, or great garden gifts, take a look at these websites: