Common witch hazel

Hamamelis virginiana

Photo/Illustration: 
J. Paul Moore
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Common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
ham-ah-MAY-lis ver-jin-ee-AY-nah
Genus:  Hamamelis
The native common witch hazel is an understory plant that becomes leggy if it has to reach for light, but in the open, it develops into a graceful, spreading shrub about 20 feet tall. Its broad leaves turn a clear, bright yellow in the autumn. The abundance of pale yellow fall flowers that accompanies the foliage comes as a wonderful late-season surprise. The deceptively fragile-looking blossoms that appear near the end of October seem to keep winter at bay for weeks.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Good fall color and late-season flowers.
Care:  Provide part shade to full sun and moist but well-drained, acidic to neutral soil in an open site. If the soil is deep and rich enough, Hamamelis can take alkaline soils. Pruning is minimal, if any.
Propagation:  As soon as seeds are ripe, sow them in containers in a cold frame. Graft cultivars in late winter, or bud in late summer.
Problems:  Gall aphids, leaf roller, scale insects, powdery mildew, leaf spots, wood rot.

Overview

Height
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Spread
10 ft. to 15 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Moderate
Characteristics
Native,
Showy Fall Foliage,
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage
Bloom Time
Fall
Flower Color
Yellow Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point
Style
Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest
Fall Interest
Type
Shrubs

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