Posts Tagged ‘low maintenance shrubs’

If you are looking for shrubs that produce super-early spring flowers, the choices are limited. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is my favorite native in this category. Before the Nor’easter passed through last weekend though, a non-native resident of my shrub border that runs along the road caught my eye. Commonly called white forsythia or Korean abelialeaf (Abeliophyllum distichum), this small, somewhat scraggly, shrub produces clouds of dainty white flowers in late winter. The flowers, sometimes blushed with pink, appear before the foliage. Although far less showy than the yellow forsythias (Forsythia spp.) that are scattered across spring landscapes everywhere, white forsythia does grace the garden with very early spring flowers.

Plants grow in full sun to partial shade and need well-drained soil. Beyond that, they need little care. Prune as needed immediately after flowering to keep the shape dense. Plants do spread a bit by suckering, and they range from 3 to 5 or more feet high and wide.

Descriptions I have read about Abeliophyllum distichum say the flowers are fragrant, but I can’t detect any fragrance. This is possibly due to the fact that my plant is out along the road and all the fragrance is lost in the wind. Still, the clouds of tiny white flowers are a promise of spring to come!


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