In 1937 this plant received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. Someone explain: does the queen pin a medal on a shrubbery? Or knight it with a sword? I had never noticed this plant before this spring, even though I had driven past it at least twice a day for 20 years. And once I noticed it, it was like, 'hey, it's a white forsythia, I've read about that one before.'
Abeliophyllum distichum looks like a forsythia, it's just as rangy/mangy as a forsythia, but it's in a distinct genus in the olive family. It's rare in its native range in the middle of Korea, but thanks to people like the resident at Miller and Seventh, it will never go extinct. Its big asset is that it flowers even before its familiar bright yellow cousin. Probably best to cut it right back to the ground every four or five years, and let it regrow.