Content Detail

Green-stemmed forsythia, sometimes called Korean forsythia, is an upright, flat-topped shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high and wide. Bright, 1 inch yellow flowers have a slight green tinge and appear a few weeks after other forsythia. Green-stemmed forsythia is one of the parents for the popular Forsythia x intermedia cultivars.

  • Family (English) Olive
  • Family (botanic) Oleaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early spring, mid spring
  • Flower color and fragrance Yellow
  • Shape or form Irregular, Multi-stemmed, Oval, Upright
  • Growth rate Fast

Native geographic location and habitat:

Green-stemmed forsythia is native to China and Korea.

Bark color and texture:

This shrub has tannish-yellow bark with prominent lenticels.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

It has dark green, opposite, 2 to 3 inch long, lanceolate leaves that have a purple tinge in fall. The stems are square with prominent lenticels.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Green-stemmed forsythia has bright yellow, 1 inch flowers in clusters along the stems.

Fruit, cone, nut and seed descriptions:

The sparse, brown, dehiscent capsules are not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

Plant green-stemmed forsythia in full sun for best flowers. This shrub is adaptable to many soil types. Prune after flowering to keep plants tidy and rejuvenate prune every few years by cutting to the ground.

Disease, pest, and problem resistance:

It can get crown gall, leaf spots, and cankers. It is black walnut toxicity and aerial salt spray tolerant.

Bronxensis green-stemmed forsythia (Forsythia viridissima ‘Bronxensis’):

A low-growing ground cover forsythia reaching 1 foot high and 2 to 3 feet wide. It produces bright yellow flowers and has bright green foliage.

Kumson Korean green-stemmed forsythia (Forsythia viridissima var. ‘Kumson’):

This upright shrub grows 6 to 8 feet high and wide. Its pale yellow flowers bloom in spring followed by interesting dark green leaves accented with silver veins which turn maroon in the fall.

Suwan Gold green-stemmed forsythia (Forsythia viridissima ‘Suwan Gold’):

A small, rounded shrub reaching 3 to 5 feet tall with arching stems. It has bright yellow foliage with clear yellow flowers.

Citrus Swizzle™ McKCitrine green-stemmed forsythia ( Forsythia viridissima ‘McKCitrine’):

A low-growing, mounded, 2 foot high and wide shrub with creamy-white and green variegated leaves that emerge chartreuse in spring. The pointed leaves turn a burgundy in fall. The flowers are pale yellow and not showy.


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