Thursday, April 20, 2006
You Say For-SY-thia, I Say For-SITH-ia
We're having a week or two of real spring, like one of those southern states where spring is a distinct season, and there's daffodils and early tulips and hyacinths and forsythia. Our forsythia (shown above) is one tough shrub. It was grown from a cutting from my in-law's old house, survived six years and a fire and subsequent construction at our Ann Arbor townhouse. When we moved to Saline four years ago, my husband dug it up (severing many of the roots), pulled it out of the half-frozen ground with our car, and then we left it sitting frozen by our front porch for several months. We had to unpack some of the stuff we needed and then get used to having a new baby. Still, William Forsyth's Chinese shrub flourished when we got around to sticking it in the ground the following spring.
One more tidbit that I remember from Warren Wagner's wonderful "systematics of botany" at class at the University of Michigan: forsythia is in the Oleaceae family, and thus closely related to olives. It doesn't seem particularly oleaginous as far as shrubs go.