Forsythia viridissima, greenstem forsythia, was found in China in 1845 by plant explorer Robert Fortune, and was the first forsythia brought back to Europe for cultivation. Although forsythias were a novelty to Europeans and Americans, they were very common in Asia. The cultivar ‘Bronxensis’ is much smaller than the species, rarely growing over 18 inches tall and spreading to 36 inches. It has better flowering than ‘Arnold Dwarf’. It is best used in masses, to cover large areas or define a border.
Named after William Forsyth, one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society in the 18th century, forsythias produce four- petaled clusters of bell-shaped flowers in the axils of the branches. They are very adaptable to poor soils and varying moisture, but the flower buds may be tender on older cultivars. Pruning is best done immediately after flowering, giving new growth time to form flower buds. Never shear forsythias into “green meatballs”, as their natural shapes are graceful enough.
Bedding or Border, Groundcover