Wayland Weekly Flower – Forsythia and Azalea

A stunning purple azalea framed against a cluster of forsythia growing at a house on Morrill Drive.   Forsythia, a member of the olive family (Oleacea), is the true harbinger of spring.  At this time, the forsythia is at full bloom in Wayland.  It is a spectacular time to take a walk or drive around Wayland to enjoy forsythia’s golden yellow burst as the memories of winter fade away.

Azalea bushes are early flowering members of the rhododendron family (Ericaceae).  One big different between the rhododendron and azalea is that azalea’s loose their leaves.  Both evergreen and deciduous varieties of azaleas exist; whereas, rhododendrons are always evergreen.  Evergreen azaleas actually produce two sets of leaves, one in the spring and one in the fall and there is an often unnoticeable transition between the sets of leaves.  In general, an evergreen azalea bush is smaller in height and has smaller leaves than its rhododendron relatives.  A deciduous azalea is larger with a mature height of 8-15 feet.  Most azaleas in this area are the evergreen variety.

With effort, both azalea and forsythia can be pruned to form hedges of various sizes and shapes.  However, both these plants naturally have a rounded shape.  Pruning into box shaped hedges tends to reduce their spring time brilliance.  Like most spring time flowering shrubs, both azalea and forsythia bloom on previous year’s growth, so the best time to prune the plants is right after the blooms fade.  Pruning later in the summer or fall will remove the forming blooms and reduce the following spring time flowering.

Return here every week to warm up to a picture of flowers from somewhere in Wayland.  Perhaps learn a bit about flowers, and different places in Wayland.  If you see noteworthy flowers in Wayland, please contact the author at waylandweeklyflower@gmail.com

Submitted by Duane Galbi

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