Abeliophyllum Species, Korean Abelia, White Forsythia

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)
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Florence, Alabama

Sacramento, California

San Anselmo, California

Pensacola, Florida

Boise, Idaho

Saint Charles, Illinois

Halifax, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Glenwood, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lockport, New York

Pound Ridge, New York

Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Collierville, Tennessee

Lexington, Virginia

Bothell, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Port Angeles, Washington

Port Angeles East, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Madison, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 6, 2021, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

I see pretty white blooms appearing on my plant now in my zone 7b garden in Memphis, TN.


On Mar 21, 2017, nothingfails from YAMBOL UPPER THRACE,
Bulgaria (Zone 7b) wrote:

This disappointing. Waste of money and space. The bush is fragile and branches break easily, esp under snow, grows in an ugly shape. Bought the Roseum variery for scent but it turns out to have the common Spring scent of gawthorn or cherry, nice but nothing outstanding. Plus blossoms fade away too quickly.


On Jul 24, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

My biggest customer has one of these in her complicated landscape of many species in southeast PA. It does well there. I am not impressed with this Asian species. It has nice white flowers in early spring that have a nice soft lilac scent, though I have not seen any insect pollinate it. Then it is not really wonderful but sprawls and is bland. It is much like Forsythia, though not as big and neater, that has a big show of flowers for two week in early spring and then is sort of unkempt with average-looking foliage, no fall color. The bark does look interesting..


On Apr 23, 2015, MaryArneson from Minneapolis, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I've grown Korean white forsythia for many years. I think I ordered it from White Flower Farm originally. It has survived construction projects, transplantation, and division, and it has bloomed reliably despite the Minneapolis (Zone 4) winters. The sweet-scented flowers are very welcome in early spring. It's not particularly interesting outside of the blooming season, but when nothing else is flowering, it's a real garden treasure.


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 flower buds are blasted here (Boston, Z6a).

Because it is beautiful for such a short season, it should be placed where it is not visually prominent when out of bloom. 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.


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.


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!!!!


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.


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.


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.