White forsythia Abeliophyllum distichum Photo/Illustration: Steve Aitken 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 White forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum) ah-bee-lee-oh-FIL-lum DISS-tih-kum Synonyms: Korean abelialeaf Genus: Abeliophyllum This deciduous shrub is related to the forsythia, but differs in that it has white (rather than yellow) flowers that open in early spring before true forsythia. It is a member of the olive family (Oleaceae). In early spring, before the new leaves form, purplish buds all along the grey naked branches open into small white four-petaled, almond-scented flowers with yellow stamens. After flowering, green, glossy abelia-like leaves appear. Noteworthy Characteristics: White forsythia is native to a small area of central Korea. It is seriously endangered in the wild as it is regarded as a medicinal plant with properties similar to witch hazel, and is illegally harvested for the black market trade in Korea. It is widely grown as a cultivated garden plant, however, so there is no risk of extinction other than in the wild. Care: White forsythia likes full sun but will tolerate some shade. It is not fussy about soil conditions but will do poorly in drought-like conditions. In the coldest areas, it is best to either protect the plant from dessicating winter winds, or grow it close to a wall for extra warmth. Prune after it flowers to encourage new wood for next year's flowers. As much as one-third of the shrub may be removed annually. A hard prune every three to four years will control twigginess. Its branches can be cut and brought inside in early spring for forcing in vases. Propagation: Root greenwood or semi-ripe cuttings in summer; layer in summer. Problems: Infrequent. Overview Height 3 ft. to 6 ft. Spread 3 ft. to 6 ft. Growth Pace Moderate Grower Light Full Sun to Part Shade Moisture Medium Moisture Maintenance Low Characteristics Fragrant Flowers, Showy Flowers Bloom Time Spring Flower Color White Flower Foliage Color Colorful/Burgundy Foliage Uses Beds and Borders Style Cottage Garden, Herb Garden Seasonal Interest Spring Interest Type Shrubs Related Plants to Abeliophyllum distichum 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Hedgehog rose Rosa rugosa var. alba 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Koreanspice viburnum Viburnum carlesii 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Hedgehog rose Rosa 'Frau Dagmar Hastrup' 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Hedgehog rose Rosa 'Blanc Double de Coubert' View the discussion thread.