March 25

White Forsythia

White forsythia, as Abeliophyllum distichum is called, has been in bloom for the last week at Duck Hill, a month earlier than usual. The four-petaled flowers are similar in shape to those of forsythia, but are tiny, opening white from pink buds in chocolate casings. The little flowers stud the arching branches profusely in the same manner as forsythia, but are intensely fragrant, throwing their honey sweetness into the air so that just passing by the bush is a heady experience. (Think how fragrant our land would be if the real forsythia had a scent!) Abeliophyllum is a delicate shrub with none of the brassiness of forsythia, showing its fairy-white beauty best against an evergreen background or, like snowdrops, on an overcast day.