Hamamelis virginiana, Common Witch Hazel
A delightful Missouri and Illinois native shrub or small tree, Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, is usually the last native flowering plant to bloom. It brings delicate yellow flowers in the last months of the year, October to December, usually after its leaves drop. Its fragrant bright flowers with curled, ribbon-like petals appear along the stems. Fruit follows and will last from winter until the following fall. Its lovely rounded leaves with wavy margins turn yellow in fall. The smooth gray bark encircles slightly wavy limbs. If given space, Witch Hazel will spread by suckers to form a colony. One of the prettiest native shrubs, its form, bark, flowers and leaves are all showy on their own. When combined together they create a magnificent shrub.
This species’ extract of its bark and roots is distilled for the astringent Witch Hazel.
Plant Common Witch Hazel in average to medium moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. For best flowering place in full sun. Witch Hazel prefers a rich soil and consistent moisture and will tolerate heavy clay. No pruning is needed, but if required is best done in early spring. Remove suckers to prevent shrubs from colonizing.
5 gallon pot, about 2′ tall
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