Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Witch Hazel - Hamamelis

The Witch Hazels being woodland understory trees in their native natural environment prefer some shade from mid day sun however they are generally very hardy and adaptable to variable site conditions. They supposedly prefer cool, moist climates supposedly however some vigorous parking lot trees I seen in Columbia, Maryland were growing well in conditions far from the above. Witch Hazel also prefer fertile, moist, well drained soil.
The best flowering occurs on shoots that are 1 to 3 years old.
Pruning is generally only needed to shape and remove lower branches if training to tree form. They can also be rejuvenated with heavy pruning every 10 years to retain good form if needed.
Propagation is from seed collected on the tree and sown at once. Germination may occur up to a year or more later so patience is a virtue. For more immediate results they can be layered in winter and lifted and planted the following winter. Cuttings can also be taken during late spring.
I highly recommend the Witch Hazel for landscape use. It has few insect or disease problems and are attractive often throughout the year very unlike the excessively planted Forsythia. I therefore give this family of plants a 10 / 10 for home landscape use!

* photo taken on Mar 7 2011 in Howard County, MD

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Hamamelis x intermedia ( Hybrid Witch Hazel )
These are the hybrids between the Chinese Witch Hazel ( H. mollis ) & the Japanese Witch Hazel ( H. japonica ) which makes a fast growing, small tree to around 20 feet. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 4 feet, 10 years - 13 x 12 feet ( most cultivars ); 20 years - 20 x 20 feet; largest on record - 33 x 33 feet.
The Hybrid Witch Hazel leafs out early in spring and the broadly oval leaves are up to 7 x 6 inches in size. They are green in summer and turn to gold in autumn.
The flowers, range from yellow to orange & have wrinkled petals.
They occur from Febuary to April depending on climate.
The hybrid Witch Hazel is reproduced from softwood cuttings taken during summer. You can try it from seed however unlike the species forms you will not be able to predict the plants habit plus bloom color so I do not recommend it.
Hybrid Witch Hazels grow best on light, acidic, fertile, well drained soil in sun or part shade on a site with protection from strong winter winds. Hardy zones 5 to 9 ( 4 on protected sites only ).

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Oct 15 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Andrea'

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Angelly
A handsome, moderate growing, compact, vase-shaped, large shrub.
The very abundant, fragrant, bright yellow, long-petalled flowers are borne late winter into early spring over a long season.
The foliage is coppery at first during spring. The foliage during autumn turns intense orange and red.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Aphrodite'
A vigorous, wide-spreading, large shrub to small tree.
The very abundant, sweetly-fragrant, orange-red flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne late winter into early spring.
The glossy deep green foliage turns intense red in fall.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Arnold Promise'
Vigorous, open & spreading with dense clusters of abundant, large, dark yellow blooms, up to 1 inch across, during very early spring before the foliage appears.
The broadly-oval, dark green foliage turns to yellow in autumn. My personal guess on its maximum size is 30 feet. Unfortunately the ones in the photos below are sheared which I never recommend on Witch Hazels, I ALWAYS prefer their very attractive natural shape.

* photos taken on Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia, MD on Feb 20 2011












* photo taken on Mar 7 2011 in Howard County, MD

* photo taken on Apr 26 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Mar 1 2014 in Glen Burnie, MD

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

* photos taken on Aug 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 14 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Feb 23 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Aurora'
A vase-shaped, small tree, bearing very fragrant, orangish-yellow flowers that are the largest of any Witch Hazel.
The deep green foliage turns intense orange and red during autumn.
It is slightly hardier than most cultivars.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Barnstedt Gold'
Similar to 'Arnold Promise' except with vigorous and ascending branches. It is a small tree exceeding 20 x 20 feet.
Its abundant, golden yellow, sweetly-fragrant flowers are large with each petal up to an inch long.

'Carmine Red'
large bronze flowers tipped red.

'Chris'

* photo taken on Mar 7 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Danny'
A broady vase-shaped, large shrub bearing spicily fragrant, deep red flowers. The foliage turns orange-red during autumn.
* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Diane'
Open & spreading in habit, forming a large shrub to small tree, up to 12 x 10 feet in 10 years, eventually more.
The large, broadly-oval leaves are deep green leaves turning to brilliant red during autumn.
Spidery coppery-red flowers, up to 1 inch in length, are borne very early during spring before the foliage.
Not very fragrant.



* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Mar 16 2013 in Ellicott City, MD
* photos taken on Nov 1 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 6 2015 in Columbia, MD
* photos taken on Mar 16 2015 in Columbia, MD

* fading flowers...taken on Apr 6 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 3 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 13 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Nov 2 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Feb 21 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 1 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 8 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 14 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Feb 23 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Oct 9 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Doerak'
Sweetly-fragrant, intense golden-yellow flowers borne mid to late winter lasting over the longest period of all the Witch Hazels.
The deep green foliage often persists into winter.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Mar 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Early Bird'
Fragrant, soft yellow flowers with twisted petals borne during mid winter.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Gimborne's Perfume'
Rounded in habit, bearing very fragrant, yellow flowers during mid to late winter.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Jelena'
Also called 'Copper Beauty'. Vigorous spreading habit. The large, broad foliage is deep green, turning to brilliant mix of orange & scarlet in autumn.
The clustered flowers, up to 1 inch in length, are intense copper orange and are generally in late winter but even bloom on and off during summer.

* photos taken on Mar 7 2011 in Howard County, MD




* photos taken on Feb 18 2012 in Columbia, MD











* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on June 3 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 25 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Feb 22 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 27 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Feb 21 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Feb 14 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Feb 1 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 16 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Luna'
Upright and vase-shaped in habit, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 22 feet.
The foliage turns to yellow or orange during autumn.
The lighly fragrant, abundant, smaller than average, twisted flowers are yellow with a red base.

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Magic Fire'
Also called 'Feuerzauber' & 'Fire Charm'. It is similar to Diane but is more tolerant of summer heat in the Deep South.
The heavy crop of large coppery red flowers is also fragrant and the twisted petals are around 0.7 inches long.
The dark green foliage turns to orange & yellow in fall.

'Moonlight'
An erect, large shrub to small tree.
The very fragrant, large, pale yellow flowers ( reddish at the base ) are borne during mid to late winter.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Orange Beauty'
Vigorous & upright eventually becoming spreading with age.
The abundant orange-yellow flowers are also fragrant.
The deep green foliage turns to yellow and orange during autumn.

'Orange Peel'
An upright, large shrub to small tree, bearing large, orange flowers during mid to late winter.
The healthy, deep green foliage turns to orange-red during autumn.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Pallida'
An open & spreading, large shrub to small tree, with spidery, fragrant, clear lemon-yellow flowers that are EXCELLENT for brightening up a dark winter day!!!
The dark green foliage turns to yellow and orange during autumn.

'Primavera'
Very vigorous with very abundant, fragrant, pale yellow flowers borne during late winter.

'Ruby Glow'
A fast growing vase-shaped form with strongly ascending branches and deep red flowers.
The dark green foliage turns to red during fall.

'Robert'
A vase-shaped, large shrub to small tree, bearing orange-red flowers.
The foliage turns to orange and red during autumn.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Rubin'
A vigorous, vase-shaped small tree.
The abundant, lightly fragrant, small, deep red flowers are borne during late winter to early spring.
The foliage turns glowing orangish-yellow during autumn.
It seems to be somewhat more tolerant of weather extremes than many cultivars, making it a good candidate for the U.S. Midwest and Ontario.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Strawberries & Cream'
A vase-shaped to broad-spreading small tree, bearing lightly fragrant, bright orange flowers.
The foliage is deep green.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Sunburst'
A vigorous, upright, vase-shaped tree, reaching a mature size of 20 x 20 feet, possibly larger.
The abundant, large, pale-yellow flowers are borne during mid to late winter.
The foliage turns attractive orangish-yellow during autumn.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Treasure Trove'
Very spreading in habit, reaching up to 10 x 22 feet at maturity.
The flowers are intense golden-yellow.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Wiero'
Upright to spreading in habit but more compact, reaching up to 10 feet in 10 years, eventually slightly more.
The mid-green foliage turns to yellow during autumn.
The fragrant flowers are bright yellow.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Winter Beauty'
Vase-shaped and slower growing than most cultivars.
The very fragrant, large, dark yellow flowers are among the largest of any Witch Hazels.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Hamamelis japonica ( Japanese Witch Hazel )
Native to Japan; it is typically a small spreading tree up to 20 feet with long rigid branches and a short stocky trunk. The largest on record is 40 x 33 feet. The fastest recorded growth rate is 3 feet per year or 33 x 33 feet in 20 years.
The leaves are small for a Witch Hazel, only up to 5 x 3.2 inches in size. The glossy deep green foliage, turns to yellow and orange late during autumn.
The late winter flowers have curled crimped petals and are yellow with red centers.
The bark is gray.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on light, acidic, fertile, well drained soil.
Cultivars can be propagated from softwood cuttings taken during summer.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* historic archive photo


'Arborea'
erect in habit when young eventually becoming a small spreading tree with horizontal branches. The small yellow flowers with red calyces are fainly perfumed and occur in small clusters.

'Flavopurpurescens'
Petals suffused red; otherwise identical to species.

'Sulfurea'
Open & upright later becoming spreading in habit. The broadly oval, dark green foliage turns to yellow in autumn. The fragrant, spidery, medium-size flowers are sulfer-yellow in color. They appear on bare branches from January to March depending on climate.

'Zuccariniana'
lemon yellow late appearing flowers

Hamamelis mollis ( Chinese Witch Hazel )
A fast growing, small tree to 20 feet, that is native to central & eastern China. Sometimes it is found as a spreading horizontal shrub however I find them more attractive trained to a single trunk. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet ( one report of 6 foot rate ); 10 years - 15 x 15 feet; 20 years - 30 x 30 feet; largest on record - 39 x 33 feet.
The leaves are up to 8 x 6 inches in size. The tropical-looking, thick foliage is downy mid-green above & gray-green below. The leaves turn to an intense yellow-orange long lasting display during autumn.
The perfumed flowers, up to 0.6 inches in length, may appear for up to 8 weeks. They have straight golden-yellow petals and are borne in axilliary clusters on 1 to 2 year wood. The flower buds can be killed at -15 F though the tree will survive to lower temperatures.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on light, fertile, acidic, well drained soil. Cultivars can be grown from softwood cuttings taken during summer.

* photo taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA

* photos taken on Oct 1 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on May 28 2017 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON

* photos taken on Aug 13 2017 @ Howard Comm. College, Columbia, MD


'Brevipetala'
Upright growing and not especially vigorous.
Blooms heavily with golden-yellow, fragrant, twisted blooms.
The foliage is green during summer turning to yellow & orange during autumn. The leaves often hang on dried in the winter.

'Coombe Wood'
Open & spreading in habit with fragrant, spidery, golden yellow flowers on bare wood from January to March depending on climate. The broadly oval, dark green foliage turns to yellow in autumn.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Goldcrest'
Vase shaped and upright with spectacular large strongly sweet fragrant golden yellow flowers in very early spring. The medium green foliage turns to intense yellow and orange in autumn.

'Princeton Gold'
Fragrant, large, golden-yellow flowers with petals up to 1 inch in length, during mid to late winter.
It is otherwise similar to the species. The foliage turns to yellow during autumn and does not persist into winter.

* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Hamamelis ovalis ( Big Leaf Witch Hazel )
A large shrub, reaching up to 15 feet, that was discovered just a few years ago in Mississippi where it is endangered.
The very large leaves, up to 6 x 9 inches, are mid-green.
The fragrant, red ( with yellow tips ) flowers are borne during early winter.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Hamamelis vernalis ( Ozark Witch Hazel )
A dense, upright, open, large suckering shrub to 10 x 10 feet in 10 years and eventually up to 17 x 20 feet, that is native to Missouri, Arkansas & eastern Oklahoma ( however thrives very well over much of North America ). On ideal sites it can become a tree with the largest on record being 34 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter up to 8 inches. A very large tree is known to grow at Tyler Arboretum near Philly. The Ozark Witch Hazel is rapid growing with the fastest rate recorded being 4 ( averaging 2 ) feet.
The leaves are up to 6 x 4 inches in size. They often reddish brown at first becoming dark green above & grayish below. The long-lasting late fall color ranges from yellow to red and is often intense.
The very fragrant strongly scented flowers are pale orange and last almost up to a month.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 tolerating as low as -30 F ( even reported fully hardy at University of Maine in Orono ) on acidic, light, well drained soil. Thrives in sun or shade and also is also tolerant of flooding and heavy clay. It is an excellent shrub / small tree for flood plain locations. Potential as an excellent unsheared natural hedge / screen.

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



* photos taken on July 9 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 1 2014 @ Maryland Horticulturalist Society garden tour, Ellicott City

* photo taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD

* photos taken on May 28 2017 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.


'Autumn Embers'
Orange flowers borne during mid-winter.
The foliage turns intense orange and red during autumn.

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


'Girard's Purple'
Deep purple flowers.
The foliage turns intense orange and deep red during autumn.

'Kohankie Red'
Deep purplish-red flowers borne mid to late winter.
The foliage turns intense deep red and orange during autumn.

'Sandra'
Foliage is dark purple at first turning to green in summer then to brilliant orange & red for a month in autumn. The flowers are red.

* photos taken on Feb 18 2011


* photo of unknown source on internet

* photo taken on Jan 14 2013 in Columbia, MD


* photos taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on July 9 2013 in Columbia, MD


Hamamelis virginiana ( Witch Hazel )
Native to sandy rich woods & floodplains in eastern North America ( from central Minnesota to central Wisconsin to Manitoulin Island to Shelburne, Ontario to Ottawa, Ontario to Quebec City to New Bruswick and Nova Scotia; south to eastern Texas to central Florida ). It is endangered in Minnesota and Oklahoma. In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant in the Point Pelee and Wheatley areas during the 1800s. It was also abundant at Detroit and on the Ohio shore during that time. It is a small upright open tree usually reaching around 20 feet in height and growing at a moderate rate. On ideal sites it can sometimes grow much larger and the largest trees recorded reach up to 60 x 40 feet with a trunk up to 2.5 feet in diameter. The fastest growth rate recorded is 3 feet.
The broadly oval scallop edged leaves are up to 8 x 5.5 inches in size. They are shiny dark green above & paler below. A tea can be made by dropping 2 teaspoons in a cup of boiling water over 5 minutes. The tea is bitter but can be sweetened with milk or sweetener.
The 1.5 inch fragrant spidery yellow flowers are often not well seen because while they are bright yellow in color, they often appear about the same time as the foliage also turns to golden yellow to orange in autumn.
The fruits are woody, up to an inch long and have a "pair of beaks". The seed pods ripen over the winter until they explosively burst, sending the seeds up to 40 feet away. A Witch Hazel stem extract or poultice of the leaves is sometimes used to wash out wounds and burns. It is also used as a topical preparation for sore muscles.
The wood is heavy ( 44 pounds per square foot )
Hardy zones 3 to 9. Growing as a tree of the forest understory layer in the wild; this Witch Hazel really does prefer shade to partial shade; however it can tolerate full sun in cooler summer climates if the soil is kept moist. It hates compaction but grows very well on moist, acid, light, well drained soils. Well established trees are very drought tolerant. Best moved while small since it can be difficult to transplant and can be propagated either by seed in Autumn, or in summer by softwood cuttings ( cuttings often fail to grow ). When grown from seed it is recommended to either sow the seed immediately in the ground during autumn or stratify over the winter at 40 F. Detached suckers are another option for reproduction.

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



* photo of unknown internet source


* photos taken on Oct 22 2013 in Towson, MD

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on May 3 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on May 6 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on May 30 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 27 2015 in Bayfield, ON

* photo taken on Nov 27 2015 @ Hickory Run State Park, PA

* photo taken on Aug 20 2016 in Olney, MD

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on Nov 30 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 27 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 9 2017 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photos


'Green Thumb'
Similar to species except for the foliage white is variegated with yellow.

'Harvest Moon'
The flowers are showier because they appear later after the leaves have fallen. The abundant, bright yellow flowers are borne throughout the month of November. The bloom season lasts longer than regular Hamamelis virginiana.
Shrubby in habit, rarely exceeding 20 x 10 feet in 15 years.

'Little Suzie'
A dwarf, forming a compact shrub, reaching up to 5 x 5 feet in size.
The fragrant, yellow flowers are borne mid to late autumn.
The foliage turns deep yellow in fall.

'Mohonk Red'
The fragrant flowers are bright red with yellow tips. The flowers are borne during mid autumn.

* photos taken on Oct 21 2014 @ U.S. Botanical Gardens, Washington, DC

* photos taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.


'Macrophylla'
Also called Hamamelis ovalis. A large leaf evergreen form from central Florida but hardy north to zone 6. The leaves are up to 6 x 9 inches in size. May have excellent potential for future hybrids.

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