Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: White Forsythia, Korean Abelia
Abeliophyllum distichum

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Abeliophyllum (al-bee-lee-oh-FY-lum) (Info)
Species: distichum (DIS-tik-um) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

16 members have or want this plant for trade.

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36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By mrs_colla
Thumbnail #1 of Abeliophyllum distichum by mrs_colla

By mrs_colla
Thumbnail #2 of Abeliophyllum distichum by mrs_colla

By nutsfordaylily
Thumbnail #3 of Abeliophyllum distichum by nutsfordaylily

By CarolynLC
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By irmaly
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By mystic
Thumbnail #6 of Abeliophyllum distichum by mystic

By growin
Thumbnail #7 of Abeliophyllum distichum by growin

There are a total of 16 photos.
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4 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral coriaceous On Feb 25, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A sprawling, shapeless, unkempt multistemmed shrub that needs support to stand up. Its only virtue is its white early spring flowers. It comes into bloom a few days before the forsythias. It may produce little flurries of blossoms in late fall and in warm spells in midwinter. I've also seen winters when most or all of the buds are blasted here (Boston, Z6a).

Because of its habit, it may be best positioned where it can hang down from the top of a retaining wall. Or perhaps this is better grown for cutting and forcing for winter flower arrangements than for its landscape presence. Maybe somewhere out of sight.

Positive CarolynLC On Jun 11, 2008, CarolynLC from Nashua, NH wrote:

I was given mine by a friend. Put it next to a yellow forsythia. It blooms nicely with lots of blossoms. One drawback is they do not last as long as the yellow ones.

Positive valzone5 On Jun 4, 2008, valzone5 from Mountain Top, PA wrote:

I ordered and planted this lovely sweet smelling white forsythia three years ago and it was small, planted it on the setting sun side of our home, and it flowered for its first time this year! Wow, what a treat!! We have two yellows which we love but this white with fragrance is very special and we're so pleased that it's happy in our zone 5!!!!

Positive pmta50 On Jun 3, 2008, pmta50 from Saint Charles, IL wrote:

I identified this shrub during our first spring in our new home. It's flowers were pretty, but not as showy as forsythia (It may be too shaded). The branches are gnarled with age and the leaves are lush green.

Positive GDT_GardenGuy On Jun 5, 2004, GDT_GardenGuy from Elkton, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have recently become acquainted with the 'Roseum' form of Abeliophyllum distichum. It has true rosey colored blooms and is fragrant and most attractive. It blooms about late March in northern Cecil County, Maryland. I have a relative who will be trying it in zone 6, near Pittsburgh. It tends to sprawl and cascades so planting over a wall's edge seems best to most enjoy its unique Forsythia-like blooms. It also seems to most enjoy rich, moist, well-drained soil. When it blooms next spring, I will include a picture.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This round, deciduous shrub with a multi-stemmed habit is commonly called white forsythia. It is a rapid grower which will produce arching branches up to 5' tall and 4' wide. It is grown primarily for its very early, often profuse, spring bloom which consists of dense axillary clusters of white (sometimes with a pink tinge), 4-petaled, slightly fragrant flowers which open from purple buds in late March and cover the naked stems before the leaves unfold. Bloom slightly precedes related true forsythias. After bloom, the medium green foliage is generally unremarkable and produces little if any fall color.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Florence, Alabama
Sacramento, California
San Anselmo, California
Pensacola, Florida
Boise, Idaho
Saint Charles, Illinois
Halifax, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Lockport, New York
Pound Ridge, New York
Mountain Top, Pennsylvania
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Lexington, Virginia
Bothell, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Port Angeles, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin

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