Tuesday, August 17, 2010

White Forsythia

Abeliophyllum distichus
Surprisingly not well known, this Korean native that is both rare in the wild and in cultivation; is the white counterpart of the common Forsythia. It is the one and only species of Abeliophyllum.
This arching and often somewhat scraggly shrub typically reaches around 5 feet though records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4 feet; largest on record - 10 x 8 feet.
The deciduous oval leaves are deep green and small, up to 3.5 x 3 inches in size.
The main attraction are the fragrant, white, Forsythia-like flowers opening from pink buds that are borne in early spring on the bare glossy dark brown branches before the foliage emerges.
Hardy zones 3 to 8, it prefers full sun and is not very fussy about soil. It does however love continental climates with hot summers and cold winters. In climates with cool summers, it is best planted against a warm sunny wall. Insect pest and disease problems rarely occur. Pruning on the White Forsythia includes removing old canes that have lost their vigor.
Propagation is from half hardened cuttings taken in summer. Layering in spring and fall is also an option.

* photos taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

Pale pink flowers.
The foliage turns reddish-purple during autumn.

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