April 12, 2002

Forsythia Varieties for Iowa

The bright yellow flowers of forsythia are a spectacular sight in the spring. Unfortunately, many of the forsythia varieties that have been widely planted in past years, such as 'Lynwood Gold' and 'Spring Glory,' don't bloom reliably in Iowa. Their flower buds are often killed by low winter temperatures. Home gardeners wishing to plant forsythia should choose varieties that possess excellent flower bud hardiness. The following varieties should bloom reliably in Iowa each spring.


Fritillaria is one of the more unusual spring blooming bulbs in the garden. With nodding flowers that are either brightly colored, muted or checkered, this group of bulbs is sure to attract some attention.

A Hard Puffball

A sample of Scleroderma polyrhizon (also know as Scleroderma geaster) was recently submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic from Shelby County. The homeowner found scattered groups of the fungus in her lawn.