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Border Forsythia

Forsythia suspensa x viridissima

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Oleaceae (Olive)
Deciduous shrub
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
3 metres tall
Gardens, hedgerows, parks, riverbanks, roadsides, wasteland.

Yellow, 4 petals
Pale yellow, tubular, star-shaped flowers in numerous clusters of 2 to 6. Forsythia typically flowers before the leaves emerge in springtime. Insect-pollinated.
A brown fruit capsule. The seeds ripen from August to November.
Simple, opposite leaves with serrated margins. The leaves grow in opposite pairs. Rarely found growing in the wild in the UK but not unknown.
Other Names:
Easter Tree, Forsythia, Golden Bells, Greenstem forsythia.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Forsythia suspensa x viridissima is a hybrid plant of the Forsythia genus, which is a member of the Oleaceae (Olive) family. It is a cross between two species of Forsythia, Forsythia suspensa and Forsythia viridissima.

Forsythia suspensa, also known as weeping forsythia, is native to China and has drooping branches that are covered in bright yellow flowers in early spring before the leaves appear. F. viridissima, also known as greenstem forsythia, is native to Japan, Korea, and parts of China, it also has yellow flowers in spring, but it's a more upright grower and leaves appear with the flowers.

The hybrid F. suspensa x viridissima will likely have characteristics that are intermediate between the two parent species, with some variations in terms of growth habit, flower color and hardiness. It is expected to have an upright growth habit, with large yellow flowers blooming in early spring.

Forsythia x intermedia, is a popular hybrid cultivar that is believed to be a cross between F. suspensa and F. viridissima, it's often used as an ornamental plant in gardens and parks. They are known for their hardiness and ease of cultivation, they prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They are often used for their striking early spring color, often being one of the first plants to flower in the spring.

It's important to note that not all hybrids are stable, so it's possible that some variations in growth habit, flower color, and hardiness may occur, and it might not always be easy to predict the exact characteristics of the plant.


Border Forsythia, scientifically known as Forsythia suspensa x viridissima, is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the olive family. It is native to China and is widely cultivated for ornamental purposes. The shrub is named after William Forsyth, a Scottish horticulturist who served as the head gardener to King George III.

Border Forsythia is a fast-growing shrub that can reach up to 10 feet in height and spread up to 12 feet wide. It has an upright, arching growth habit and is well-known for its bright yellow flowers that appear in early spring. The flowers are bell-shaped and occur in clusters along the length of the branches. The leaves of Border Forsythia are dark green, ovate, and serrated, and they turn yellow in the fall.

Border Forsythia is a hardy plant that is relatively easy to care for. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types, including loamy, sandy, and clay soils. The shrub should be watered regularly, especially during the growing season, to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Border Forsythia benefits from regular fertilization with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and early summer.

One of the most attractive features of Border Forsythia is its early blooming period. The shrub is one of the first plants to flower in the spring, often blooming before the leaves appear. This makes it an excellent choice for adding color to a garden that may still be dormant. The bright yellow flowers are also attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, making Border Forsythia an excellent plant for supporting local ecosystems.

Border Forsythia is often used as a hedge or border plant because of its fast growth rate and dense foliage. It can also be trained as a small tree by removing lower branches and allowing a central leader to grow. When used as a hedge, Border Forsythia should be pruned immediately after flowering to encourage new growth and prevent it from becoming too leggy.

Border Forsythia is a versatile shrub that can be used in a variety of landscape settings. It is often planted in mass plantings or as a single specimen plant in gardens, parks, and along roadsides. Its bright yellow flowers make it a popular choice for adding color to mixed borders, and it can also be used as a backdrop for other plants with different foliage or flower colors.

Border Forsythia is also an excellent choice for erosion control, as it has a fibrous root system that can help stabilize soil on slopes and hillsides. It is often used in restoration projects, where it is planted to help control erosion in areas that have been disturbed by construction or other activities.

Another benefit of Border Forsythia is that it is deer-resistant, which is particularly important in areas where deer populations are high. The dense foliage and thorny branches make it difficult for deer to browse, which means that it is less likely to be damaged by these animals.

In terms of maintenance, Border Forsythia is a relatively low-maintenance shrub. It does not require regular pruning, although it can be pruned if necessary to control its size or shape. It is also relatively pest and disease-resistant, although it may be susceptible to some fungal diseases if the soil is too wet or if the shrub is planted in a poorly drained area.

Border Forsythia has been widely cultivated and hybridized over the years, resulting in a number of different cultivars with different flower colors, sizes, and growth habits. Some popular cultivars include 'Bronxensis', which has a compact growth habit and bright yellow flowers, 'Meadowlark', which has larger flowers than the species and a more upright growth habit, and 'Spring Glory', which has double flowers that are a deeper yellow than the species.

In addition to its ornamental value, Border Forsythia has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The dried fruits of the plant are used in a number of herbal remedies to treat a variety of ailments, including fever, sore throat, and respiratory infections. More recently, Border Forsythia has been studied for its potential as an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent.

Border Forsythia can also be propagated easily by softwood cuttings taken in late spring or early summer. To do this, select a stem that is still green and has not yet turned woody. Cut a 4- to 6-inch piece of the stem just below a leaf node and remove the lower leaves. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and plant it in a pot filled with moist potting soil. Cover the pot with a clear plastic bag or a plastic dome to create a humid environment, and place it in a bright, indirect light location. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and in a few weeks, the cutting should develop roots and start to grow.

Border Forsythia can also be propagated by layering. To do this, select a low-growing branch and bend it down to the ground. Make a small cut in the bark where the branch touches the ground and cover the cut area with soil. Weigh down the branch with a rock or stake to keep it in place. In a few months, the branch should develop roots and can be cut from the parent plant and transplanted to its new location.

In terms of design, Border Forsythia can be used in a variety of ways to create different effects. When used in mass plantings, it can create a bold statement and add a splash of color to a large area. When used as a hedge or border plant, it can create a more formal, structured look. When used as a specimen plant, it can be a focal point in a garden, drawing the eye and adding interest.

Border Forsythia is a versatile and attractive shrub that offers a range of benefits for gardeners and landscapers. Whether you're looking for a low-maintenance plant that can add color to a garden or a natural remedy to treat common ailments, Border Forsythia is definitely a plant worth considering. With its bright yellow flowers, hardy nature, and ease of care, it's no wonder why this plant has been popular for centuries.

More about Border Forsythia...

Its growth habit is generally upright, but it can also spread horizontally, particularly if it is not pruned regularly. The shrub produces bright yellow flowers in early spring, before its leaves emerge. The flowers are bell-shaped and appear in clusters along the length of the stem. The leaves of Border Forsythia are ovate and toothed, with a bright green color in the summer that turns to a reddish-purple in the fall.

Border Forsythia is a hardy shrub that can grow in a wide range of soil types and climates. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil, but it can tolerate a range of conditions, including drought, air pollution, and salt spray. It is also cold-hardy, withstanding temperatures down to -20°F.

When planting Border Forsythia, it is important to choose a location that provides enough space for the shrub to grow to its full size. It is also important to plant it at the same depth as it was in its nursery container and to water it regularly during its first growing season to help it establish its root system. Once established, Border Forsythia is relatively drought-tolerant and does not require regular fertilization.

In terms of pruning, Border Forsythia can be pruned after it has finished flowering in the spring. This will help to maintain its size and shape and promote healthy growth. It is generally recommended to remove one-third of the oldest branches each year to encourage new growth and maintain the shrub's overall health.

Overall, Border Forsythia is a versatile and attractive shrub that can provide a range of benefits in a variety of landscape settings. Its ease of care, tolerance for a wide range of conditions, and ornamental value make it a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers alike.


Video 1: Border Forsythia filmed in Wigan, Lancashire on the 4th March 2023.


Video 2: Border Forsythias filmed at Capernwray in Lancashire on the 7th April 2024.


Music credits
I Found an Answer by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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