Which one did I buy?

Toward the end of the growing season, I picked up a witch hazel plant on a mark down sale at a local nursery. The plant was labeled Hamamelis virginiana, the common witch hazel that blooms in late fall in eastern North America. This understory native tree flowers about mid-fall and may continue through December when no other flowers are in the landscape.

Several of these small trees grow along the wood line across the street and I love seeing the splash of color beneath the conifers as both the leaves and the flower turn a golden yellow. It’s a pretty smart plant to bloom when there isn’t any competition for pollination by insects. Bees are buzzing late in the season around these trees… and the fragrance? It can be intoxicating on a fall day.

Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana

My tiny witch hazel, planted late in the season, has just become visible after a big snow melt and it is beginning to bloom during the final days of February. I think the label was correct. It probably is a Hamamelis virginiana that is blooming late the first year. But could it be mislabeled?  There are some witch hazels that bloom in February, the Vernal witch hazel and hybrids…. one of which I grew in Virginia, Hamamelis vernalis, Diane’ with a bright red and beautiful bloom.

Secretly, I’m hoping the witch hazel is mislabeled and I have an early spring blooming Vernal witch hazel. Fingers crossed….but just maybe, someone who knows lots more than I do, can verify this plant’s identity.

witch hazel

11 thoughts on “Which one did I buy?

  1. Unfortunately, many trees and bushes are already in bloom here in Tidewater, Virginia. Leaves are emerging on trees, too. I hope we don’t have a cold spell that may damage the new growth. 😥

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you don’t have a bad cold spell in beautiful Tidewater. I think we surely will dip down in NH. Today was in the 60s and I pulled on my boots and sloshed around in the snow checking plants and the tender growth on herbs that were under the snow yesterday. I raked leaves on top of a few things that I knew would be burned by a cold snap.


  2. Hi Annie, My old boss at the nursery had a ‘Arnold’s Promise’ outside his bedroom window and when it bloomed in Feb or early March he knew a new growing season was at hand and it was time to get back to work. I have ‘Arnold Promise’ Hamamelis vernalis that is blooming right now with yellow flowers. Spring is coming , enjoy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I too planted a witch hazel three years ago here in central VA and this year it was full of blooms for nearly one month. Wisely Supreme is the name, as I shopped for a long time before ordering. It appears to be a slow grower, and I appreciate that. I do hope that yours thrives for you. Diane

    Liked by 1 person

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