Kindly sponsored by
Monique Gudgeon, Sculpture by the Lakes
Owen Johnson (2022)
Johnson, O. (2022), 'Forsythia × kobendzae' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.
A garden hybrid, intermediate in features between its parents.
USDA Hardiness Zone 4
RHS Hardiness Rating H7
A Polish tradition of forsythia breeding was launched at the Kórnik Arboretum in the 1950s by Bolesław Suszka, in the hope of producing a floriferous plant that would be hardy across the country (Suszka 1959). The hybrid of the European F. europaea and the Chinese F. suspensa was not among the first tranche of crosses selected by Suszka for further breeding, but was described by Włodzimierz Seneta in 1965 from plants growing by this time at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), in its park at Ursynów. He named the hybrid to commemorate Roman Kobendza, a professor at the University who had died in 1955.
It is not known if this cross was the ancestor of any of today’s forsythias of Polish origin, though the popular F. ‘Maluch’ is sometimes described as a clone of F. × kobendzae. F. × kobendzae itself still features in the list of forsythias at the Charles University Botanical Garden in Prague, hosted by florius.cz (Florius 2021), but it seems likely that the catalogue represents a list of current and historic plants rather than of forms actually present in the Garden.