Witch hazels, members of the genus Hamamelis, are a group of plants known for their dramatic, spidery flowers that often bloom in the cold winter months. Most of the varieties found in the Park are winter-blooming, and we are gearing up for their peak bloom time. This means you can expect colorful floral shows even when the temperature drops and other flowers have gone dormant. The long, spidery petals come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, red, and even purples! On especially cold days these petals are actually able to draw themselves back up inside the body of the flower for protection. There are over 60 distinct cultivars that make up our witch hazel collection. Here are a few favorites that you can see blooming now in the Park:
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Beholden’ is a product of crosses at the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio. This medium-sized witch hazel is noted primarily for the color of its flowers. This cultivar possesses some of the reddest petals seen in this plant.
Hamamelis vernalis ‘Quasimodo’ is an older reddish/orange blooming witch hazel produced by Dutch plant breeder Pieter Zwinenburg. The burnt coloration of the blooms pairs well with the spicy fragrance of the flowers.
Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Wiero’ is on the taller side for witch hazels. ‘Wiero’ is best known for its bright, lemon-yellow flowers and light green calyces that stand out against the typical browns of a winter garden.