Forsythia

Named after William Forsyth, prominent English horticulturist, director of the royal Flowers of Forsythia garden at Kensington.

Olceaceae. GOLDEN BELL. Highly ornamental, free-flowering shrubs, with opposite, simple or ternate leaves and showy yellow flowers borne in great profusion along the slender branches in early spring. One of the showiest early-flowering shrubs, with handsome, clean foliage, remarkably free from in sects or fungi, and remaining unchanged until late in fall. The upright forms are well adapted for the borders of shrubberies and the pendulous form for covering walls, fences, arbors or porches. They grow in almost any kind of garden soil, and are hardy North. Propagated readily by greenwood and hardwood cuttings; also by seeds. The branches of the pendulous form often take root at the tips when touching the ground, and send forth vigorous shoots, like some brambles or the walking-fern. Two species in China, much cultivated in Japan, and one recently discovered in southeastern Europe. Low shrubs, glabrous throughout, with slender, quadrangular branches and opposite, serrate leaves. Flowers 1–3, axillary, pedicelled; calyx and corolla deeply 4-lobed, lobes of the corolla oblong, longer than the campanulate tube; stamens 2, included : fr. a 2-celled, dehiscent capsule, with many winged seeds.

Suspénsa. Shrub, to 8 feet, but the branches often lopping on the ground and taking root. Leaves broad-ovate or oblong-ovate, serrate, 3–4 inches long. Flowers, 1–3, about 1 inch long, golden yellow, tube striped orange yellow within. Calyx about as long as tube: capsule ovate, about 1 inch long. China. Two varieties can be distinguished. 

  1. Sieboldi, Zabel (F. Sieboldi, Dipp.). Low shrub, with very slender. pe dulous or trailing branches. Leaves. mostly simple, broad ovate or ovate. 
  2. Fortunei, Rehder (F. Fórtunei, Lindl.).  Of more vigorous growth, with upright or arching branches: leaves. often ternate, ovate or oblong-ovate: corolla with more narrow and twisted segments.

F. suspensa is an excellent shrub for the margins of groups, because it finally rolls over and meets the greensward. It can also be trained over an arbor. Less common than F. viridissima, but better.

Intermèdia, Zabel (F. suspánsa x viridissima). Shrub, with slender, erect or arching branches. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, sometimes 3-lobed or ternate, coarsely serrate, 3–4 inches long. Flowers almost like those of F. suspensa. Often confounded with forms of F. suspensa. In foliage it resembles much the following, which has the leaves narrower, always simple, usually serrate only above the middle, with smaller teeth. It is as hardy as F. suspensa and very floriferous.

Viridissima, Lindl. Shrub, to 10 feet, with green, erect branches. Leaves oblong-lanceolate or lanceolate, always simple and generally serrate only above the middle, very dark green, 3–6 inches long. Flowers about 1 inch long; corolla with rather narrow, twisted lobes of bright, somewhat greenish yellow; calyx about half as long as tube. Less hardy and graceful than the other species.