WHAT ARE HAMAMELIS ABOUT THE NURSERY OPEN DAYS / VISITS CHECKLIST PHOTO LIBRARY CULTIVATION OTHER PLANT COLLECTIONS
 
 

WHAT ARE HAMAMELIS

A genus of four species of woody shrubs, two from North America and two from Asia, all flowering in the winter/early spring except for Hamamelis virginiana L. which flowers in the autumn. The first to be discovered was the American Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, this is the plant from which is distilled an extract, quite widely used in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. The other species from North America is the Ozark Witch Hazel, Hamamelis vernalis. From Asia come both the Japanese Witch Hazel, Hamamelis japonica and the Chinese Witch Hazel, Hamamelis mollis. In cultivation, hybrids have arisen, notably between the Japanese and Chinese Witch Hazels, these are designated as Hamamelis x intermedia and many of them have been given cultivar names.

Apart from H. virginiana which flowers in October and November, they all flower in the winter, between December and March, unaffected by frost. Individual plants have a flowering period of four to six weeks, depending how cold the weather is. They are medium sized to large woody shrubs, usually multi-stemmed. The flowers consist of four strap shaped petals, giving them a spidery look. With many flowers clustered along the branches, they provide welcome colour in the drab winter months. Flower colour, particularly in the hybrids can range from pale yellow, through to red and many of them have good scent, from sweet to spicy. An added bonus in many cultivars is the autumn colour of the foliage, which can range from yellow through to orange and red.

 

 

WITCH HAZEL NURSERY, CALLAWAYS LANE, NEWINGTON, SITTINGBOURNE, KENT ME9 7LU
TEL: 01795 843098 / MOB: 07982 264990
chris.lane1@tiscali.co.uk

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