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Hamamelis virginiana and Other Witch Hazels

By NEILMUIR1
November 23, 2014

Hamamelis virginiana is a most remarkable plant native to north America. It is also known as common or American witch hazel. It is always in use as a true medicinal plant and it is a plant of great ornamental beauty. Hamamelis vernalis, or the Ozark Witch Hazel, is native to Central America. Hamamelis ovalis, or Leonard's Witch Hazel, was only found in 2004 and although an American native is new to science.

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Nov 22, 2014 6:46 PM CST
Neil, this article was very interesting and informative. I was amazed to learn that we have a newly discovered Hamamelis here in the U.S.
Thank you for this article. I may have to add one of them to my woodland garden.
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 22, 2014 6:49 PM CST
Dear Lynn, that sounds a very good idea s they are beautiful. The scent is gorgeous in the winter months!
Regards to all.
Neil.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Nov 22, 2014 11:36 PM CST
Neil, can you tell me what the scent is similar to? Is it floral or some other kind of scent that is appealing....? Asking only because not all plants have a floral or herbal or woodsy smell...right?
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 22, 2014 11:41 PM CST
Dear websemps, I find the scent quite sweet and inviting. Especially Hamamelis japnoica. It is hard to explain the smell, but it is strange that you get a wonderful scent in the winter. It can be floral, lovely though. You had better ask a woman to tell you, as I am not too good at explaining scents.
Regards from a most wet England.
Neil.
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
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webesemps
Nov 22, 2014 11:50 PM CST
thanks for writing the article. I think I know more about this plant than I did yesterday. Smiling
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Nov 23, 2014 8:54 AM CST
Neil, thank you for this wonderful article about one of my all time favorite trees.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Nov 23, 2014 9:03 AM CST
Great article Neil - thank you!
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 23, 2014 11:46 AM CST
i have enjoyed doing the Article and made many important American friends who are world renowned on this subject!
Regards to all.
Love and hugs.
Neil.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Nov 23, 2014 5:15 PM CST
Great article , wish I had room for more of them. I have always been surprised that they are not more popular. Late Winter flowers and great Fall color.
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 23, 2014 6:05 PM CST
Thanks Bob, i know they are not that popular! A new American plant to science and nobody reads my Article!
Regards.
Neil.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Nov 23, 2014 6:48 PM CST
Since reading your article, Neil, I was reading some info about the new species, Hamamelis ovalis. http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/hamamelis... And, there is an indication that it could be a rediscovery of the “lost” species Hamamelis macrophylla.

All very interesting. Thumbs up
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 23, 2014 6:57 PM CST
Dear Christine, yes Steve Leonard has put a theory forward that it is a lost species! Probably down to a Scottish Nurseryman called J. Lyon. But where exactly he worked is unknown as his work is vauge. However they are hoping that one day one of J. Lyon's plants will turn up in a lost garden or Arboretum somewhere. that of J Lyon was involved in the pre Victorian times account for its varying flower colour.
A lot more research is needed. But I am happy to say some Hamamelis ovalis and another one called "Quasimodo" which was found at the same time as H. ovalis have reached commercial Horticulturist now.
You have to know where though!
Group hug
Neil.
Thanks for being interested, I find it fascinating!
Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
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Ridesredmule
Nov 25, 2014 8:18 AM CST
I have a witch hazel and it is an interesting plant. I've never seen little plants come up form the Seeds bursting open but have seen the seed pods on my plant.
thank you for an interesting article...
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 25, 2014 10:34 AM CST
Dear Charleen, thank you for your comments. I am glad you liked the Article and thanks once again for the picture.
Hope you are well, keep warm and safe!
Regards and hugs.
Neil.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
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donnabking
Nov 29, 2014 9:09 AM CST
Wow Neil! Thanks so much for this wonderful informative article! I so enjoyed it! I've heard of witch Hazel all my life, but never seen it either in person or photo! The flowers are stunning & I always love fragrance. I simply must have one. Of all the nurseries I've been to and all the nurseries I buy from via mail, I e never seen it offered. Anyone know where I can get them? Anyone got any seeds to share?
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Nov 29, 2014 9:19 AM CST
I love Hamamelis. My only negative comment is that they are so slow to grow.

My first was Arnold Promise. Something fairly unique to them is that it is possible to see buds, seeds and leaves on them all at the same time. I have also seen all three and flowers as well Smiling Wish I had 5 acres to grow more.

I do have all 4 of the originals and hope some day to get an ovalis. I live in Missouri and have seen the vernalis growing like weeds in the Ozarks. Need to go when they are in bloom. :-)

Thanks for an excellent article. My hunch on macrophylla is that it never existed. From the little info available, it does not appear to be ovalis IMHO. Most likely reason is that it appears that Lyons never made it as far south as GA/AL.

Best regards.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 29, 2014 10:20 AM CST
Dear David, they are quite slow to grow. But are worth it for as I stated they are stunning! Here in England they are of moderate growth; so are not too bad. I adore them.
Unfortunately the park I planted my first Hamamelis in has now been bulldozed for the Docklands Light Railway, so they and a massive collection of Japanese maples are gone forever.
It will not be long till many are in flower, if they are not already. So go looking!
Donna there are many nurseries that sell Hamamelis. Look at http://portlandnursery.com/plants/shrubs-vines/hamamelis.sht...
Regards from a most cold England.
Neil.
Name: Donna King
Selmer, TN (Southern West TN) (Zone 7b)
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donnabking
Nov 29, 2014 3:26 PM CST
Thank you Neil. I will have to check this out. I have never seen them offered for sale. And perhaps once I find them, I will realize I HAVE seen them and didn't know what I was seeing???
The Hooterville Hillbilly @ Hummingbird Hill
Name: Neil
London\Kent Border
Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: United Kingdom
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NEILMUIR1
Nov 29, 2014 4:03 PM CST
Don't worry Donna, many people take no notice at all of this plant! For in the spring summer its leaves do not show out much in nurseries. The fall colours although beautiful do not show out against say your maples. Then when they flower most people do not go to nurseries/Garden centers.
Regards.
Neil.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Aug 29, 2015 10:37 PM CST
My Arnold Promise bloomed Feb 5, 2015 and was pathetic. Heh Harldy any bloom and little scent. On Feb 14, 2014 it bloomed profusely and smelled great even from a distance. Oh well. I added 2 more this year - an American and Vernalis, so maybe more this winter.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976

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