The genus Hamamelis, multi-stemmed native shrub Witch Hazel, grows in a range of soils at the wood’s edge and flowers in full and partial sun. Four species – japonica, mollis, vernalis, and virginiana – are available in the trade along with a raft of japonica x mollis hybrids. Cricket Hill has two H. vernalis specimens and a half dozen of these ‘intermedia’ hybrids, which are considered to be the best all-around performers in the garden. Four are shown below.
Witch Hazel is very adaptable to soil pH, has a sweet if gentle fragrance, and can have dramatic fall foliage ranging from bright yellow through orange to dark red. This was a particularly good bloom year, flowering over a 6 week period February through April. If you keep alert, you may see this very hardy shrub growing naturally around the Farm, a few at the roadside near Kira’s drive!