forsythia (fôrsĭthˈēə) [key], common name for any member of the small genus Forsythia of the family Oleaceae (olive family), European and Asian shrubs with abundant bell-shaped yellow flowers that appear before the leaves. They are easily cultivated and are used in hedges and borders. In some species the branches droop and in others they grow erect. Forsythia branches are often cut in early spring and forced into bloom indoors. Forsythia are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Scrophulariales, family Oleaceae.