White Forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up White Forsythia
Give a thumbs up Korean Abelia

Botanical names:
Abeliophyllum distichum Accepted
Abeliophyllum distichum f. lilacinum Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 3-5 feet
Plant Spread: 3-6 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Other: Medium green foliage is generally unremarkable and produces little if any fall color
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Blooms on old wood
Other: Prune immediately after bloom because flower buds for the following year will form on the current year's growth
Flower Color: White
Other: Clusters of white (sometimes with a pink tinge), 4-petaled, slightly fragrant flowers which open from purple buds
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late winter or early spring
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Cut Flower
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

photo credit: Krzysztof Ziarnek

Photo gallery:
Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-03-16shrub in bloom
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-03-16flower close-up
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-05-22foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-06-09shrub in a border
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-06-09shrub in summer
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-06-09summer foliage
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-06-09stem and twig
By ILPARW
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-06-09inside shrub of stems and bark
By ILPARW
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Date: 2010-06-25Photo courtesy of: Yoko Nekonomania
By admin
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Location: West Chester, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-03-16top of shrub in bloom
By ILPARW
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Photo courtesy of Joy Creek Nursery
By Joy
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Comments:
Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 16, 2020 5:18 PM

I heard of this Korean Abelialeaf or "White Forsythia" from Korea decades ago, but never saw one. My biggest customer in southeast Pennsylvania has had one for about 20 years. I finally took a photo of it in bloom in early spring and then shots of the shrub in early summer. This shrub is very similar to Forsythia and in the same Olive Family. It has opposite leaves about 2 to 3.5 inches long. Its slender twigs are sort of 4-sided like Forsythia and light brown with a white pith. The white to pink-tinged white flowers are 4-petalled, like Forsythia, and bloom in late winter to early spring before the leaves. It does have an interesting bark. It grows in most any well-drained soil. Like Forsythia, it needs a lot of pruning to look good. Prune right after blooming. It is not a high quality plant; but, it is interesting, though average-looking most of the year.

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Meredith79 On June 6, 2013 Obtained plant
Lazy S'S Farm delivery arrived. It is quite small and I am scared my husband will kill it with his weed whacker so I am keeping it potted for now.
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