Where can I find witch hazel?

Witch hazelThe idea of a plant that blooms in the winter intrigues me.  Supposedly this area provides favorable conditions for witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) to grow.  I’ve only seen color photos of witch hazel blooms and not the leaves.  As I walked up the driveway at dusk last night (after checking on the spicebush plant), I noticed this large bush which looked like it had yellow blossoms.  Could it be witch hazel???  I picked a leaf and brought it home.  After looking very carefully at the drawings of witch hazel leaves, I felt the thrill of confirmation.  Witch hazel grows on this land!

Today I walked back to the spot with camera in hand.  Not only did I discover there were loads of spicebush plants in the area, there were loads  of witch hazel bushes also.  Here are some photos of the gorgeous leaves and blossoms.

Witch hazelThe flowers are just beginning to bloom.  I am curious to discover how long the blooms last.  Right now it’s mid-fall — with lots of colorful leaves both on and off various trees.

Witch hazel

Here’s a view of a current bloom with last year’s seed capsule.

Witch hazel

And a very close view of the flower’s center.  Notice the curled up portions.  How does nature do that anyway?

Witch hazel (very close)

When I climbed the steep slope above the area where I first saw the witch hazel last night, I found so many witch hazel plants.  Only two of which were blooming.  I joyfully anticipate lots of future witch hazel displays.

By the way, David Perry recently wrote a lovely piece (with splendid accompanying photos) about his received gift of witch hazel leaves.  I saw his post after making my personal discovery and now have even greater appreciation for his photos of the leaves.

This entry was posted in Native plants. Bookmark the permalink.