witch hazel, witch-hazel, Hamamelis mollis, Chinese witch hazel

Witch Hazel

Flowers in winter are like a welcome reprieve from the blustery storm. Witch Hazel has got to be one of the top ways to get winter colour.

The other day, out walking with friends & hoping for sunshine, we came across this delightful scene.

witch hazel, witch-hazel, Hamamelis mollis, Chinese witch hazel
photo by SVSeekins

Usually, Hamamelis is more like a shrub or a small multi-stemmed tree topping out at 15 ft. This specimen has got to be the largest Witch Hazel I’ve ever seen!

I’ve admired an orange-flowered Hamamelis at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific. It is tiny in comparison to the beast near Mt. Doug Park.

witch hazel, witch-hazel, Hamamelis mollis, Chinese witch hazel
photo by SVSeekins

The flowers are crazy-looking but long-lasting. Some folks say they’re scented, too, but I’ve never noticed. It’s just a nice surprise to see something blooming through the first few months of the year. As with most scented plants, come prophecies of deer resistance…. hmmm, I wonder… could it be true?

witch hazel, witch-hazel, Hamamelis mollis, Chinese witch hazel
photo by SVSeekins

Listed as suitable for zome 5, Witch Hazels are a pretty safe bet for our zone 8-9 garden. Purchasing a specimen in bloom is one of the safest ways to be sure you’re getting the variety you want. February’s a good time to be planting a tree in these parts, too. Perhaps I’ve just talked myself into a visit to the nursery?

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