A taste of spring: Abeliophyllum


Some shrubs never seem to have quite caught on and while forsythias are seen in every garden and are among the most popular of spring-flowering shrubs, if not THE most popular, the closely related abeliophyllum is rarely seen. The flowers betray the close reationship of the white or pale pink of Abeliophyllum distichum (the only species in the genus) to golden forsythias.

Abeliophyllum is from Korea and was introduced to the UK in 1924. It is a small shrub, reaching about 2m high against a wall – less in the open. It is absolutely hardy but the area it comes from has colder winters and hotter summers than most of the UK and that summer warmth is important to flowering. As a result is it best grown either in the east of the UK or grown against a sunny, south- or west-facing wall. The branches are not very long-lived and rather brittle so it should be pruned every few years, immediately after flowering. The leaves are small and very like forsythias and the flower buds, which are formed in late summer, are deep, chocolatey black in colour. The flowers have a slight fragrance and, in my opinion, the nicest plants, have pink flowers.

It has thin, elegant growth, like a very refined forsythia and is a nice thing to have for early flowers and to provide a few stems for the house to go with snowdrops and daffodils.

Geoff’s rating


Garden rating








2 Comments on “A taste of spring: Abeliophyllum”

  1. Kathy Larson
    January 19, 2017 at 1:42 am #

    Does very well here in Iowa,USDA Zone 4.We have hot summers,and it has bloomed well even after -25 Fahrenheit winters.One of the earliest shrubs to bloom here.I tried Lonicera fragrantissima several times,but couldn’t survive the winter.

    • thebikinggardener
      January 19, 2017 at 8:33 am #

      That is interesting that the lonicera can’t survive with you but reinforces what a hardy shrub the abeliophyllum is. I am glad it flowers well for you. Thank you for adding to our knowledge about this pretty shrub 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sweetgum and Pines

gardening in the North Carolina piedmont

Ravenscourt Gardens

Learning life's lessons in the garden!

RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life

Paddy Tobin, An Irish Gardener

Our garden, gardens visited, occasional thoughts and book reviews


un altro blog sul giardinaggio...


four decades of organic vegetable gardening and barely a clue

The Long Garden Path

A walk round the Estate!


Gardening on the edge of a cliff

Uprooted Magnolia

I'm Leah, a freelance Photographer born and raised in Macon, GA, USA. I spent 8 years in the wild west and this is my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming. Welcome to Uprooted Magnolia.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Garden Variety

A Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle and Organic Food & Drink Blog

For the Love of Iris

Articles, Tips and Notes from Schreiner's Iris Gardens

One Bean Row

Words and pictures from an Irish garden by Jane Powers

Plant Heritage

We are working to save garden plants for people to use and enjoy today and tomorrow


An English persons experience of living and gardening in Ireland

%d bloggers like this: