Flower Glossaryflowers

Flower Glossary: Forsythia

by Grace Bonney

I will always associate Forsythia with my first year in Brooklyn. It was 2003 and I lived, part-time, in Park Slope where I was house-sitting for my boss. He owned the record label where I worked and spent his weekends at the Jersey Shore, so I got to babysit his cat (and amazing record collection) while he and his wife took their son to the beach. While I was walking down 7th avenue, I kept noticing all of the beautiful bright yellow bushes in people’s yards and finally stopped to ask someone what they were. Ever since that quick lesson in Forsythia, they’ve been one of my favorite branches to display at home and they always remind me of warmer weather and days walking around beautiful brownstones. I don’t see many Forsythia around Greenpoint these days, but whenever I do I snap a picture and smile. xo, grace

Additional Information about Forsythia:

  • Family: Forsythia is a genus of flowering plants in the Olive family (Oleaceae)
  • Varieties: There aren’t as many species of Forsythia as other plants and flowers we’ve discussed here (there are only around 12). The majority of the accepted species originated in Asia.
  • Cost: Full Forsythia plants are more affordable than individual branches in most cases, but you can buy cut branches at most florists each spring for around $6- $12 per branch.
  • Fun facts: Forsythia is used to detoxify the body and ease the symptoms of colds and fever in traditional Eastern medicine.

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  • This is one of my favorite flowers. I live in Providence, RI and even though winter here has lasted far longer than usual (like the rest of the country!) there is one resilient forsythia bush that just started blooming a couple blocks away from my house. I couldn’t help but take some pictures of it the other day!

  • If you’ve got a neighbor trimming theirs back, the branches will root on their own without any special attention. No special attention. Branches I’ve forgotten to clean up have, regretably, rooted. It’s a bugger of a plant and very full of grace and beauty. Plus, free. Yay!

  • Just take a clipping from a neighbor and thrust it unceremoniously into the ground. It will root and grow freely. Very freely. They are a bugger of a plant and full of grace and beauty. (Sorry if this is a simul post. It looks like my other comment was eaten, but one never knows.)

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