Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hamamelis - Witch Hazel

This picture was taken about 12 years ago and I can hardly believe how small these bushes are here. They are now at least 10 feet tall and at least as wide and totally fill in this space, making a nice shady spot for some hostas and epimediums.
The next picture is Hamamelis vernalis purpurea, on of several purple flowered versions we growl This one has smaller flowers and the color doesn't make it one of the showier ones in the yard. I would guess we have at least 30 Hamamelis, some duplicates, but mostly one of each.
Below is one of those with the long, thin flower petals. So delicate. The only pest these things seem to have are the birds which sometimes find the flowers tasty. Weird. Now that we have so many, it isn't such a noticeable problem. We have lots of birds, but they just don't bother them enough to destroy the effect of all of the bloom along the stems. This one is a species, Hamamelis virginiana.

I know that it doesn't seem like it, but these are in alphabetical order, or at least the version of logical alphabetical order that my computer does. It I don't post them that way I'll just get confused about where I am.
Next is Hamamelis x intermedia 'Aphrodite'. Most all of the ones one the market are these crosses, though most catalogs will just list them by name. Some of these have been around forever, though there seems to be a new interest in these and a number have come on the market in recent years. Hank, of course, the true collector, has to get each new one as he finds it. Luckily these are pretty inexpensive.

The one below is one of the older ones, Arnold Promise which came from the Arnold Arboretum.
I think I need to take another picture of this one. My older pictures are just not as good as the digital ones I'm taking now and some of those that seemed good ten years ago seem to be degrading and changing colors, not unlike old color photographs.

Next is Barnstadt Gold - lots of interest in these in Germany where a lot of the breeding is taking place so you'll find a lot of German sounding names. Probably one of my favorite things about Hamamelis is that they bloom so early. It can be a disadvantage if we get really below zero temperatures after they come out, but generally they will be in bloom for 2 months - until the warm weather gets here.

The other favorite thing about Hamamelis is the scent. A few bushes in bloom will just fill the yard with the most heavenly fragrance. Not overpowering like some Viburnums or Hyacinths, but just sweet and pleasant. I haven't noticed the smell on ours yet this year, but they're just starting to come out. The next warm, sunny day and the yard will be so nice to be out weeding in...

No comments: