An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

January 19, 2008

No, It Is Too Early for Forsythia

The above images are of Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) that I took within the past week. At this time of year I always get a few customers coming in looking for what they mistakenly call early blooming forsythia. In our climate this plant will usually bloom in January or February depending on the weather. Last week we were in the 70's and that caused the orange buds to swell and they began opening this week. If the TV weather guys are correct, they will be blooming in snow tomorrow. This plant is very easy to grow, drought tolerant and likes full to partial sun. If you are the kind of gardener who likes tidy well behaved shrubs, you will be disappointed. It has a very sprawling habit and does really well on slopes where it can sort of spill down. The stems will stay green year round and the plant has a wide hardiness range from zone 6 to 10. It is native to China.

The first picture was taken in downtown Norfolk in front of a typical municipal parking garage. In the past decade the city has made noticable progress in expanding their plant palette. I hope to show you more of their efforts as things come into bloom this spring, and if I am there at the right time. These have been here a long time and they survived this summer's drought with no apparent damage.


  1. For some reason I always thought these were some kind of broom. I don't recall being aware of any scent from the plants but since it's in the Jasmine family it must have some fragrance, no?

  2. Sorry, it is one of the few jasemines that has no fragrance.