Witch hazel or Hamamelis
Hamamelis or ‘witch hazel’ are an easy plant to grow. Well drained, soil, light shade and some protection from wind. These plants form a medium to large shrub and will give good colour in the autumn. Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold promise’ has bright yellow flowers on a compact bush.
Varieties and cultivars
- H. mollis
This is the Chinese Witch Hazel, red and yellow flowers on bare stems in late winter make a wonderful display. Attractive rounded green foliage from spring through to autumn reaching around 3m.
- H. virginiana
From North America this is the American Witch Hazel has yellow flowers and is widely used in cosmetics as a skin lotion. Can reach to 7m and more, usually less.
- Hamamelis x intermedia
This is a hybrid with a few named cultivars that are of garden merit. Generally more compact growing, one form is H. x intermedia ‘Jelene’ with fragrant orange flowers, while H. x intermedia ‘Dianne’ has deeper red flowers and good autumn colour.
They are an early flowering plant and add color to the garden in early spring. Look for varieties such as, H. mollis Pallida with perfumed straw yellow flowers on bare stems and golden autumn color. Hamamelis vernalis ‘Sandra’ which is the Ozark Witch Hazel with orange autumn tones purple new foliage, and H. virginiana is more of a small tree with pale yellow flowers.