Yes, but it is much more than that. Stachyurus praecox, commonly called Spiketail, is one of those shrubs that are not often encountered in gardens and can easily be overlooked in the wash of everything yellow this time of year. The small flowers hang from the stem on 4-5 inch racemes. They are formed in the fall of the previous year and stay exposed all winter. For us they have fully opened in this second week in April. The shrub on campus is located at the top of the walk approaching the GIAC. It is planted in combination with Cornus ‘Mid Winter Fire’, a nice orange-apricot colored red stemmed dogwood.
The Arboretum obtained this plant as a gift from local friend Sue Langer. At the time, about 6 years ago the plant was outgrowing its space in her garden. My colleagues and I dug the plant and transported it to its current location on campus. Now, it has adjusted well to life in the arboretum and is reaching a height of 9 ft x 6 ft.
There is not much in the way of aroma, it disappears as greenery through the summer and fall color is ho-hum yellow. I know this is not a beaming endorsement but grow the plant for its uniqueness and wonderful spring flowers.
Everything yellow is not a forsythia!