Forsythia Shrubs

Forsythias welcome spring with masses of brilliant sun-colored blooms

Forsythia is a small genus of about 11 species of woody, deciduous flowering shrubs. Forsythia shrubs grow quickly, typically reaching mature sizes of between 6 and 10 feet in height and 10 to 12 feet in width, but there are semi-compact and compact varieties that stay between 2 and 5 feet tall and wide. Often the first to flower, forsythias bloom heavily in late winter or early spring. The bell-shaped, brilliant yellow blooms cluster along the stems, from root to tip, before the medium to dark green foliage appears. The flowers are a welcome food source for early emerging pollinators, but the flowering stems also look great in a vase. Often the last to lose their leaves in fall, these ornamental shrubs typically turn gold or reddish purple before dropping their leaves for the winter.

Early forsythia (F. ovata), weeping forsythia (F. suspensa), greenstem forsythia (F. viridissima), and border forsythia (F. x intermedia) are popular species for home gardens. Easy to grow in sunny locations, forsythia shrubs are quite versatile, and their naturally wild and airy appearance fits almost anywhere.