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Forsythia ovata - Korean forsythia

Forsythia ovata © Susanna

  

Early in the Finnish spring, i.e. around April-May, small yellow star-shaped flowers open on Korean forsythia shrubs, on the previous season’s growth or at the base of the leaves. After flowering is over, the shrub can be recognised by its leaves and habit: the leaves are dark green, broadly oval and bluntly pointed; the habit is broad, with curving shoots and root suckers.

Korean forsythia is native to a small area in central Korea. It was first ”found” by the famous plant hunters Takenoshi Nakai and E. H. Wilson, by coincidence both in the same area, the Kümgangsan or Diamond Mountain in what is now North Korea, a spot famed for its natural beauty; and both discoveries happened the same year, 1917. The Korean species is one of the few forsythias hardy in Finland. It has been grown at Mustila since the 1930s. The shrubs winter well enough but flowering may be sparse.