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A deciduous or partially evergreen shrub 5 to 8 ft high, with stiff, erect, somewhat four-angled branches with a greenish colouration even in the second year; pith lamellate. Leaves lance-shaped, 3 to 6 in. long, 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. wide, tapering at both ends, but more slenderly towards the pointed apex, toothed in the upper half or quite entire; stalk 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 in. long. Flowers bright yellow, 11⁄4 in. across, the four corolla-lobed narrow-oblong, 1⁄2 in. long. Calyx-lobes ovate, about half to three-quarters as long as the corolla-tube. Fruits broadly ovoid, beaked. Bot. Mag., t. 4587.
Native of China: introduced by Fortune in 1845, by means of a plant sent to the Horticultural Society, in whose garden it first flowered in 1847. It is not so fine a garden shrub as F. suspensa or the hybrids between it and that species (F. × intermedia) and is not so common as it was in the 19th century. It flowers one or two weeks later than F. suspensa, usually in April, and is sturdy enough to hold its branches erect. Its distinguishing characters are: the lamellate pith of the branches, the dark green lanceolate to oblong leaves toothed in the upper half and almost invariably undivided; and the short calyx, which is half as long as the corolla-tube.
F. viridissima was for long represented in cultivation by a clone with long-styled flowers. The garden clones of F. suspensa, on the other hand, were mainly short-styled. From this the false conclusion was drawn that these were specific characters. In fact, as Darwin surmised, the forsythias, like the common primrose, are heterostylous, some individuals of a species bearing only long-styled and others only short-styled flowers. But a clone, being descended vegetatively from a single individual, bears flowers of one kind only.
cv. ‘Bronxensis’. – In a sunny position with the extra heat provided by a wall, this cultivar flowers quite freely. Its ultimate height is not much over 2 ft, more in width.
F. koreana (Rehd.) Nakai