Forsythia, or Golden Bell, spring-blooming shrubs native to Asia. Easily grown from stem cuttings and shoots that rise from the roots, forsythias are widely grown as ornamentals. Their attractive yellow flowers, tubular at the base and divided into four straplike lobes, open in early spring before the leaves unfold. The leaves turn a dark coppery color in autumn.
Forsythias grow from 5 to 12 feet (1.5 to 3.7 m) tall. All have arching branches. Branches of the weeping forsythia droop like those of the weeping willow. The shrubs were named in honor of William Forsyth (17371804), a British botanist.
Forsythias belong to the genus Forsythia of the olive family, Oleaceae. The weeping forsythia is F. suspensa; most other cultivated forsythias are varieties of F. intermedia, a hybrid of F. suspensa and F. viridissima. The earliest blooming and hardiest species is F. ovata, from Korea.