Common witch hazel Hamamelis virginiana Photo/Illustration: J. Paul Moore 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 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 Attracts Song Birds, Native, Showy Fall Foliage, Showy Flowers, Showy Foliage Bloom Time Fall Flower Color Primrose Yellow Uses Beds and Borders, Specimen Plant/Focal Point Style Woodland Garden Seasonal Interest Fall Interest Type Shrubs Hamamelis virginianaView the discussion thread.