Blooms of the Season: Hamamelis Heaven

Blooms of the Season: Hamamelis Heaven

Happy Valentine’s Day! Consider celebrating with your sweetheart by taking a winter hike and enjoying the fragrant, colorful blooms of winter courtesy of witch hazels. Yes, I said color and fragrance in the winter landscape. As described by our Blooms of the Season artist, Diane Mattis, “It is wonderful to see those colorful little ribbons, twirling around against the blue sky. The Scott Arboretum is a Hamamelis heaven.”

In her latest scan, (a challenge to create with those woody stems), Diane celebrates the colorful blooms of Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’, H.  mollis ‘Early Bright’, and H. vernalis.

Hamamelis mollis 'Early Bright' sunny yellow color pops against the grey stone in the Fragrance Garden. photo credit: R. Robert

The Scott Arboretum witch hazel collection comes in an array of colors for your sweetheart to enjoy: orange, yellow, red, maroon, and pink. The always striking yellow H.  mollis ‘Early Bright’ is the most eye-catching because it is the first to bloom hence the name ‘Early Bright’. It makes a sunny yellow statement in the garden before anyone else is even considering making an appearance.

Despite a coating of ice, Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena' looks lovely in the landscape. photo credit: J. Coceano

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ is another Scott Arboretum favorite for its striking color. The petals emerge from a burgundy calyx cup and are red at the base, orange in the middle, and yellowish at the very tip, giving the flowers the appearance of dancing flames. Another beloved feature of this cultivar is that it drops its spent leaves, allowing for a lovely floral display uninterrupted by wilted brown leaves.

The fragrant Hamamelis vernalis in bloom near Sharples Dining Hall. photo credit: R. Maurer

Now you are wondering about the scents? Your sweetheart enjoys a lovely scent and sight. The large planting of H. vernalis below the Sharples Dining Hall is so fragrant you simply need to stroll by to experience the pleasant aroma; there is no need to bury your nose in the petals to attempt to inhale the aroma. It is nice break for a stuffy nose.

So go stretch your legs, enjoy the beauty of winter, and the company of your sweetheart with the winter offerings of our native witch hazels.

Becky Robert
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