Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of Sarah Newman.

Forsythia

Scientific name
Forsythia x intermedia
Also Known As
Common forsythia, Garden forsythia, Easter tree
Plant Family
This early bloomer is a medium deciduous shrub and is well known for its profusion of vibrant yellow flowers signaling the onset of spring.
Identification Hints

Forsythias are grown and prized for being tough, reliable garden plants and are popular early spring flowering shrubs in gardens and parks. Forsythia × intermedia has an upright habit and bright yellow flowers.  It is slightly smaller and more commonly grown than its relative, Forsythia suspensa. 

Did You Know?

Forsythia was named for the British royal gardener William Forsyth (1737-1804) who brought this beautiful shrub home from a trip to China.

Leaves
The leaves are 3 to 5 in (7.5 to 12.5 cm) long and 0.5 to 1 in (1.25 to 2.5 cm) wide. They are oppositely arranged, and have toothed margins toward the tip of the leaf. Each leaf is oval at the base and can be pointed toward the tips. The upper side is medium to dark green and the underside is a little lighter. Leaves appear after blooming.
Flowers
The bright yellow flowers are 1¼ to 1½ in (3 to 3.75 cm) long. They have 4 lobes and appear in clusters of 2 to 6. The clustered flowers appear before the leaves come out and are found along all the branches. Flowers bloom in early spring.
Fruits
Dry, brown, woody capsule with several winged seeds.
Bark
When new, twigs on branches are green, and mature to brown or yellow brown. All branches have prominent raised lenticels (small dots or bumps).
Habitat
Forsythia grows on many soils, but it needs full sun for best form and maximal flowering. It is tolerant of partial shade and urban conditions.
States
AL, AR, CT, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MD, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, UT, VA, WA, WV