Forsythia x intermedia Zabel

Border Forsythia



Family: Oleaceae

Genus: Forsythia

Category: Shrub - Deciduous

Zones: 6 to 8

Size: 4 to 8' tall, 6 to 10' wide

Growth Rate: Fast

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Yellow flowers in late winter are a welcome sign of spring. Unruly, splaying form in my experience. Prune after flowering. Flowers on 2 to 3 year old branches. There's a rule of thumb that you should apply pre-emergent herbicide after the Forsythia blooms and before the Dogwood. That would be my only reason to grow this when there are so many better cultivars.


Numerous cultivars are available. I would only be interested in compact forms, hence this selection.

'Courtasol' Gold Tide™ ('Maree d'Or') PP#9104 - 18 to 30" tall with 4' spread, yellow flowers.

'Courdijau' Golden Peep™ PP#13,050 - 18 to 30" tall and wide with rounded form and bright yellow flowers.

'Lynwood' - one of the most well-known - found in a garden in Northern Ireland in 1935 as a sport of 'Spectabilis' - large yellow flowers in profusion.

'Spectabilis' - one of the original cultivars, free-flowering

'Weekend' - mutation of 'Lynwood' - smaller compact habit


First published in Gartenflora 1885: 36. The name is unresolved (PlantList).

F. suspensa (Thunb.) Vahl x Forsythia viridissimaLindl.


My Experience: 

I was given a plant in NC which grew rampantly in my garden there. I rooted a cutting and planted it on the property line with no supplemental water. It has survived and bloomed for 2 years but has little ornamental value once the flowers are gone.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner