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Extension > Garden > Yard and Garden > Flowers > Northern Sun

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Northern sun

Laurie Mainquist and Harold Pellett

A forsythia for northern climates

yellow flowers close up and plant picture

Northern Sun is a new forsythia which is specifically recommended for landscape use in Minnesota and other northern areas where common Forsythia intermedia cultivars are not reliably hardy. This cultivar has produced a spectacular display of yellow flowers very early in he spring following winter temperatures of -300F.

This shrub has a hybrid origin which includes the Korean species Forsythia ovata and, apparently, F. europaea. The original plant was grown from seed received in 1957, and has been propagated asexually since that time. The clear yellow flowers exceed _" in length and 1" in width and appear, before the medium green foliage, in late April. Plants have grown vigorously at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to an ultimate height and spread of 8-10 feet.

The vigor and large size of this forsythia make it particularly suitable for shrub borders, and for screen and bank plantings. Renewal pruning is useful to keep the plant shorter and more compact. Removal of approximately one third of the older stems immediately following bloom encourages the growth of new shoots from the base. The shrub is adaptable to a wide range of soils and has no serious pests or diseases. Plants should receive full sun to encourage free flowering.

Northern Sun forsythia will be available through Minnesota nurseries in spring, 1983.

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