There is only one species in this Korean genus, which belongs to the same family as the common Forsythia, but there is nothing common about this plant. A. distichum is an open, spreading shrub that grows to 3–5′ and produces an abundance of delightfully fragrant, pure white, star-shaped flowers at the very beginning of spring, at least 2 weeks before Forsythia. The blooms are followed by foliage of a cool bluish green.
Branches cut in late winter are easily forced into bloom, and the perfume is much more pronounced indoors.
Grow in full sun or partial shade and average soil, and underplant with early-flowering spring bulbs such as Scilla and Muscari.
HOW PLANTS ARE SHIPPED
The size of the plants we ship has been selected to reduce the shock of transplanting. For some, this means a large, bareroot crown. Others cannot travel bareroot or transplant best if grown in containers. We ship these perennials and annuals in 1 pint pots, except as noted. We must point out that many perennials will not bloom the first year after planting, but will the following year, amply rewarding your patience. We ship bulbs as dormant, bare bulbs, sometimes with some wood shavings or moss. Shrubs, Roses, vines, and other woody plants may be shipped bareroot or in pots. The size of the pot is noted in the quick facts for each item.
WHEN WE SHIP
We ship our bulbs and plants at the right time for planting in your area, except as noted, with orders dispatched on a first-come, first-served basis by climate zone. Estimated dates for shipping are indicated in the Shipping Details box for each item. Please refer to the Shipping Details box to determine the earliest shipping time. Unless you specify otherwise, fertilizers, tools, and other non-plant items are shipped with your plants or bulbs. Please supply a street address for delivery. Kindly contact us with two weeks notice, if you'll be away at expected time of delivery.
We guarantee to ship plants that are in prime condition for growing. If your order is damaged or fails to meet your expectations, we will cheerfully replace or refund it. Please contact our Customer Service Department at 1-800-503-9624 or email us at [email protected]. Please include your order number or customer number when contacting us.
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frostbiter from Fairfield County, CT
A bit slow to get established but so worth the wait. The scent is beyond lovely, much needed in early April in New England. Like its common yellow cousin, its arching branches root where they touch the ground, so you'll eventually have offspring to give to your friends...or you can leave them and enjoy the ever-expanding show.
Willowy, slightly spreading Abeliophyllum reaches 3–5′ in height. In early spring, it produces fragrant, white Forsythia-type flowers. Bring some branches inside in February for earlier bloom. White Flower Farm first introduced this plant to American gardeners in the early 1960's.
CULTURE: Full sun to light shade, average soil; prune out old shoots to maintain vigor. Space 3–4′ apart. Fertilize once in early spring with 10-10-10. Once plants are established, the next year's crop of flowers will be greatly enhanced by removing about one-third of the old wood after the flowering period is over.
GROWTH: Usually flowers within a year or two of planting. The rate of growth varies from slow (12″ or less a year) to fast (25″ or more a year) depending on the situation.
SUGGESTED USE: Plant in a shrub border or fragrance garden. Underplant with Scilla sibirica or species Crocus for a lovely early spring display.
No notable pests or diseases. Blossoms may be nipped by late frosts, so try to site the shrub where late-winter warmth won't encourage it to bloom too early.