Sunday, March 28, 2010

Corylopsis - Winter Hazel

A family of early spring blooming very attractive shrubs to occasionally small trees that should be much more widely used in the landscape. They are closely related to the Witch Hazel which is much more widely known in North America. All Winter Hazels are native to Asia though they readily adapt to regions with similar climates in eastern North America and the Pacific Northwest.
The Winter Hazels grow well in sun to partial shade and prefer moist, acid to neutral, fertile, well drained soil.
Corylopsis are best planted where they have room to naturally grow. They are very graceful in their natural habit and shearing and excessive pruning will spoil that.
The obvious maintenance pruning such as broken or dead branches can be done at any time.
They grow best in woodland gardens and actually prefer the sheltered environment.
The flowers can be damaged by hard late spring freezes which may be a problem in some areas though I have never witnessed any type of freeze damage myself.
They are grown easily from the shiny black seeds ( 2 are contained in each small 0.5 inch wide woody capsules that follow the blooms ) planted outdoors in autumn. They are also easily reproduced from softwood cuttings taken during early summer.
Not only are the Corylopsis much more superior to similar yellow spring bloomer - the Forsythia but these all season plants are also practically immune to pests and diseases. They should be much more widely used in the landscape!!!


* photo taken @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum




* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ McCrillis Gardens, Bethesda, MD

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photo taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

Corylopsis glabrescens ( Fragrant Winter Hazel )
An open, spreading, deciduous, large shrub to small tree, that is native to Korea & the Kirishima mountains of Japan. It can reach up to 13 x 10 feet in 10 years with the largest on record being much larger at 33 x 20 feet. It is fast growing and the fastest growth rate recorded is 6 feet though typically less than half that.
The bristly-toothed, cordate-based, pointed-tipped, broadly-oval leaves are up to 7 x 5.5 inches in size. The foliage is deep green above, pure white to blue-green below. The foliage turns into a beautiful golden-yellow late autumn display or sometimes the foliage remains green so late that it never has a chance to color before getting zapped by frost. The spring foliage is an almost glowing verdant light green.
The light yellow fragrant flowers with red-green bracts are borne in drooping 2 inch racemes during mid spring.
The twigs are slender.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum




* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

'Longwood Chimes'
Very showy flowers borne on exceptionally long clusters, otherwise identical to species.

Corylopsis glandulifera
A deciduous, large shrub, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 17 feet, that is native to southeastern China. On ideal sites it can be fast growing up to 4 feet per year; though average is only 8 feet after 10 years.
The obovate to rounded leaves, up to 6 x 4.5 inches in size, are mid blue-green.
Hardy in zones 7b to 9b ( estimate based on native range ).

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

Corylopsis gotoana
A rare, very beautiful, very vigorous, deciduous, large shrub to small tree, that is native to Japan. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 5 feet; 10 years - 12 x 12 feet ( average ); largest on record - 17 x 30 feet.
The toothed, broadly-oval leaves are up to 4 inches in length. The blue-green foliage turns to golden-yellow during autumn.
The fragrant, bright yellow flowers, up to 1 inch in size, are borne during very early spring.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 in full sun to partial shade and moist, acid, rich well drained soil. It is tolerant of alkaline soil however may be less vigorous.

* photos taken @ U.S. National Arboretum


* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum





* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.



* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


Corylopsis himalayana ( Himalayan Winter Hazel )
A large shrub or sometimes small tree if trained, native to the Himalayas that can reach up to 15 feet in height.
The oval leaves are up to 4 inches long and have brown felted undersides.
In early spring the very pale yellow flowers are borne in racemes holding up to 30 blooms each.
The new shoots are densely downy.
Hardy north to zone 6

subsp. 'Griffithi'
Much larger foliage to 8 inches in length and flower clusters up to 4 inches in length.

Corylopsis multiflora ( Wilson Winter Hazel )
The giant of the family, sometimes forming a tree as tall as 30 feet. It is native from Yunnan to southeastern China & Taiwan.
The obovate to rounded leaves, up to 6 x 3.2 inches in size, are glossy deep green above; grayish-white below.
The bright yellow flowers are borne during late spring after the foliage has emerged.
Hardy zones 5 to 9.

Corylopsis pauciflora ( Buttercup Winter Hazel )
Native to Japan & Taiwan, this is a medium size dense, bushy, spreading shrub though rarely reaching as large as 10 x 21 feet. Slow growing, the fastest rate recorded is 2.5 feet and 10 x 10 feet in 10 years.
The oval foliage is smaller than the other Corylopsis only reaching up to 4 x 2.5 inches in size. The leaves are pinkish-bronze early in spring turning to bright green during summer. The leaves are heavily veined and coarsely toothed, they turn golden-yellow during autumn.
The fragrant, light yellow flowers are borne on racemes up to 0.8 inches long with up to 5 bloom each. They appear before the foliage during early spring.
The bark is deep grayish-brown.
Hardy zones 6 to 8. Prefers partial shade rather than sun.

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


* photos taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* historical archive photos


Corylopsis platyphylla ( Bigleaf Winter Hazel )
A large shrub native to central China that can sometimes be trained as a small tree. Typically reaching up to 10 x 10 feet in 10 years and eventually around 13 feet; the largest on record is 25 x 18 feet.
The ovate leaves up to 5 x 5 inches in size. The foliage is deep green above and blue-white beneath; it does not normally color during the fall.
The fragrant light yellow mid spring flowers are in racemes up to 3 inches long.
Hardy zones 5 to 8.

Corylopsis sinensis ( Chinese Winter Hazel )
Formerly known as Corylopsis willmottiae, it is an erect but spreading, moderate growing shrub reaching up to 8 x 6.5 feet in 10 years with the largest known being 18 x 20 feet. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet. It is a widespread native of southeastern China.
The velvety oblong leaves are up to 6.5 x 3.5 inches in size. The foliage is often purplish at first turning to dark green above & blue-green below. The foliage turns to yellow during autumn.
The velvety-bracted, fragrant, yellow flowers, up to 0.3 inches long, are borne on pendant racemes, up to 3.2 inches in length, during mid-spring.
Hardy zones 5 to 9

* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum











* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photos taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Dec 15 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 12 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 1 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Spring Purple'
foliage is rich purple in spring before turning to dark green.

subsp. 'Veitchi'
Native to western China and vigorous in habit, reaching up to 15 x 8 ( rarely over 8 ) feet.
Ir has wider light yellow flowers with red anthers. The flowers are borne on racemes up to 3 inches in length.

* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum



Corylopsis spicata ( Spike Winter Hazel )
A spreading, large, deciduous shrub that is a rare native of Japan where it is found wild only in around Kouchi City in Shikoku. Spike Winter Hazel can reach 6 or rarely 10 x 10 feet in 10 years with the largest on record being 17 x 23 feet. It is also fast growing to over 2.5 feet per year with the fastest recorded growth rate being 5 feet. The Spike Winter Hazel looks stunning when used in mass plantings.
The tapered, oval leaves are up to 6 x 5 ( rarely over 4 ) inches in size. The foliage is purplish at first in spring turning to dark blue-green above & grayish below. In autumn the foliage turns to gold in color.
The fragrant, bright yellow flowers with red anthers are borne during mid-spring on pendant racemes up to 6 inches in length.
Branches are zigzag crooked and very flexible
Hardy zones 5 to 8

* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum




* photo taken on April 18 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD



'Aurea'
Golden blooms are followed by golden foliage. Excellent for brightening up a dark location!!!

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Corylopsis yunnanensis ( Yunnan Winter Hazel )
A large shrub, reaching a maximum height of 20 ( rarely over 10 ) feet, that is native to only western Yunnan Province in China.
The elliptic, obovate or rounded leaves are up to 4 x 2.5 inches in size. The foliage is dull deep green above, gray beneath.
The yellow flowers are borne on short, hanging panicles during late spring.
Not are hardy as most, only thriving north to zone 7.

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