Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - False Forsythia, real fragrance

Tomorrow's Friday Fabulous Flower is a much under appreciated early flowering spring shrub in the Olive family.  Wait! TPP is a day early not one or two days late?  Yes, tomorrow is a travel and work day for this botanist, and since this plant was decided upon yesterday, the decision was made to get on with it and not disappoint any readers who rely upon the FFF for a much needed positive, upbeat, mental therapy type of post.  This author is included in that group, and thus the Phactor has been largely silent about the political side of things.
This shrub is sometimes called a dwarf or false forsythia, both rather confusing because there are dwarfish species of forsythia, and this isn't a forsythia at all but Abeliophyllum distichum. This is an easy to care for, shade tolerant shrub, and quite cold hardy.  It isn't screaming gaudy in flower, but more of a lacy whiteness, or light pinkness if you get a variety roseum.  It is one of the earliest of flowering shrubs (28 Feb here, it's earliest ever date to flower).  The flowers do rather look like small white-pink forsythia flowers, but that really just means a typical enough olive family flower. The neatest thing is that the flowers are highly fragrant, and a flowering twig or two will perfume an entire room with a honey-lilac (another olive family member) fragrance.  This is where the scratch and sniff computer screen would be great.  Every yard should have room for one or two of these smallish shrubs although they are not real common in the trade.

No comments: