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Vernal Witch Hazel Hamamelis vernalis

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Hamamelis vernalis var. tomentella
Phonetic Spelling
ham-ah-MAY-lis ver-NAH-lis
Description

Ozark Witch Hazel is a native, tough, durable plant. It is easy to grow in both sun and partial shade but flowers best in full sun. It tolerates clay soils as long as the drainage is good. Although it is drought tolerant, it does best with consistent moisture and may suffer from leaf scorch in hot, dry summers. It spreads by root suckers which should be pruned to restrain colonization.

Ozark Witch Hazel adds winter interest to the garden, flowering from January to early March in a variety of colors from yellow to reddish-purple with petals resembling twisted ribbons.

Potential problems: Caterpillars, Japanese beetles, leaf gall aphids, weevils, scale, leafroller,  leafminer.  powdery mildew, occasional leaf spots, and rots.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Flowers in axillary clusters, 4 ligulate petals
  • Deciduous shrub to small tree with zig-zag twigs
  • Leaf buds and young twigs tomentose

Deciduous shrub or small tree to 16.5'.

Native form flowers in late fall to early winter. Other species flower in late winter. Leaves turn yellow in fall. 

Prefers well-drained, moist, acid, organic soil; full sun or partial shade; intolerant drought; no serious pests.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Sandra'
Tags:
#red#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#partial shade#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#purple leaves#native tree#yellow leaves#spring flowers#winter interest#playground#well-drained soil#multistemmed#deer resistant#shrub border#children's garden#edible seeds#fantz#bird friendly#winter flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Sandra'
Tags:
#red#sun#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#partial shade#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#purple leaves#native tree#yellow leaves#spring flowers#winter interest#playground#well-drained soil#multistemmed#deer resistant#shrub border#children's garden#edible seeds#fantz#bird friendly#winter flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hamamelis
    Species:
    vernalis
    Family:
    Hamamelidaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans are known to have boiled twigs to create soothing medications for wounds, muscle soreness, insect bites, bruises, and burns.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern and Central US (Ozark Plateau)
    Distribution:
    Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Pieces Used in Games
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 16 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3b, 3a, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    A non-showy dehiscent capsule, two-valved dihiscent.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    A cyme in leaf axils. Yellow, four strap-like crumpled petals.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, ovate to obovate, toothed, base oblique; leaf buds pubescent.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Description:
    Young stems zig-zag, pubescent; older glabrous, smooth.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Hedge
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer