Often the first to flower in spring and the last to lose its leaves in fall

The Forsythia genus contains woody, deciduous flowering shrubs that bloom in late winter or early spring, putting on a showy floral display with abundant clusters of 4-petaled, bell-shaped, bright yellow flowers that appear along the branches, before the leaves emerge. The shrubs have an upright, arching habit of dense medium to dark green leaves and are often one of the last to drop their leaves in fall. The leaves typically turn yellow or gold before they drop, but some cultivars display reddish purple. The flowering stems attract bees and butterflies and make excellent cuts for the vase or floral arrangement.

Forsythia is a small genus of about 11 species. Most mature to between 6 and 10 feet tall with a 10- to 12-foot spread, but there are cultivars with habits that are compact, growing only to around 2 to 3 feet tall, and semi-compact, which reach about 5 feet tall and wide. F. ovata (early forsythia), F. suspensa (weeping forsythia), F. viridissima (easter tree, greenstem forsythia), and F. x intermedia (border forsythia, golden bells) are some popular species with home gardeners. Easy to grow and low-maintenance, forsythias grow and flower best with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. They prefer humid environments and moist but well-draining soil, but they have some drought tolerance once established. Fast-growing, the naturally wild-looking shrubs can be pruned to maintain a desired size and shape. Any pruning should be done after flowering is finished.