|Light:||Full Sun, Partial|
|Soil:||Sand, Loam, Clay|
|Moisture:||Dry, Medium, Moist|
|Benefits:||Pollinators, Birds, Host Plant|
|Blooms:||Sep, Oct, Nov|
|Zones:||3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8|
|1||2 Gallon Pot||$39.99|
New leaves emerge reddish-bronze in the spring on this unique native shrub, and turn a brilliant gold for a late season show. Despite its stunning fall leaf color, Witchhazel is best known for its late season blooms. The fringed flowers appear in the fall and stay on the branches after the golden leaves have dropped. Even in the cold midwest, the fragrant yellow blooms persist into November and beyond. Long-lived, Hamamelis virginia is often multi-trunked with spreading branches that form an irregular, open crown.
Witchhazel performs best on moist sites but it can handle almost any situation, growing equally well in well-drained top soil and poorly drained clay. Avoid extremely dry situations. As a woodland understory shrub its preference is for shade but it will grow in full sun as well. This shrub has it all: great fall color, winter interest, a large vase shape, fragrant flowers, and birds eat the fruit (small brown capsules).
Flowering starts when the plant is about six years old. The flowers are self-fertile and some pollination is carried out by small flies and bees which may be foraging late in the season. But Witchazel also depends on moths. Also known as winter moths, several species of Eupsilia moths are active on cold nights. Once pollinated the flowers go dormant, to mature the following year, taking a full season for the seed to reach maturity. The mature seeds open suddenly, with a popping sound (thus the name "snapping hazelnut"), and are jetted to a distance of up to 30 feet from the mother tree. In the woodland this seed dispersal results in a lovely an understory grove.
Other common names include Winterbloom, Snapping Hazelnut and Striped Alder.