Advanced Search Filters

Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
Sunset Zone
Function
Sun Exposure
Soil Moisture
Water Requirement

HAMAMELIS vernalis

Image of Hamamelis vernalis

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Hamamelidaceae

Botanical Name

HAMAMELIS vernalis

Plant Common Name

Ozark Witchhazel, Vernal Witchhazel

General Description

Grown for its spicy-scented winter flowers and colorful fall foliage, vernal witchhazel is a medium to large deciduous shrub from the south-central United States.

This upright, rounded shrub bears oval, scallop-edged, medium-green leaves along its gray-barked branches. The leaves often turn bright yellow in fall. Small flowers with four narrow, ribbon-like, yellow to coppery-red petals cluster along the naked branches in winter or early spring, opening as early as Christmas in mild winters. The flowers give rise to woody capsules which eject their seeds by opening explosively at the tip. Plants often sucker, producing new stems from beneath the ground that in time can form a small thicket.

This cold-hardy shrub thrives in full to partial sun and moist, well-drained, acidic to neutral soil. It will tolerate drought and sandy or clay soil. Plant one as a garden accent, or several in a naturalistic grouping or informal hedge. The flowers look best if back-lit by the sun. Selection 'Red Imp' has bronze-red flowers and 'Sandra' has purple young foliage, dark yellow blossoms, and multicolored fall leaves.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6'-10' / 1.8m - 3.0m

  • Width

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Early Winter, Winter, Late Winter

  • Native To

    South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Gold, Orange Red, Copper

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Light Yellow, Gold

  • Bark Color

    Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No