Many gardeners love forsythias for their cheery yellow blooms that signal the end of winter. For many years the hunt has been on for new varieties that don't get too big but still flower abundantly, and Forsythia x intermedia Mikador (‘Minfor6’) looks the best bet so far.
Usually making a plant only 1m high, and as wide, with a generally rounded habit, Mikador branches strongly low down and, eventually, will make an unusually bushy plant almost twice as wide as high.
The vivid yellow flowers line the branches from low down to the tips and the plant remains colourful for longer than other varieties.
Forsythia Mikador has an interesting history that can be traced back over a hundred years. The pale yellow ‘Primulina’ was raised at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston USA, before 1912; then in about 1930 a larger-flowered and more prolific sport of it was found in a garden in Ohio and named ‘Spring Glory’.
Next, in about 2000, at the Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique at Angers, France, plants of ‘Spring Glory’ were irradiated with gamma rays. The flowers on the irradiated plants were then allowed to set seed and the seed germinated and grown on.
One seedling was selected for its dwarf and unusually widely spreading growth and for its prolific flowering; it was named ‘Courdijau’ and sold as Golden Peep but did not prove popular. Forsythia Mikador is a seedling of Golden Peep, the result of open pollination, and was selected in 2006 at the nursery of forsythia enthusiast Patrick Pineau at La Ménitré, Maine et Loire, France. One unusual feature is that Mikador is unusually resistant to Phytophthora disease.
You can order plants of Forsythia x intermedia Mikador (‘Minfor6’) from Suttons, and from Thompson & Morgan and from Van Meuwen.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily those of the RHS.