Chris Lane-Witch Hazel Expert
On March 14, Chris Lane, internationally recognized as a witch hazel (Hamamelis) expert, visited the Scott Arboretum. While touring the 40 different kinds of witch hazels at the Scott Arboretum, he helped us identify some plants which had suspect identities and discussed some of his favorite witch hazels.
He commented on the stunning yellow Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Primavera’ and ‘Sunburst’. His personal favorite is ‘Aurora’ which has the largest flowers yet seen on a witch hazel. They are deep yellow with tints of burgundy and produce a good fragrance. He commented that one of the most fragrant selections is ‘Orange Beauty’. Our Hamamelis collection can be found around the Women’s Resource Center, Olde Club, and Kitao Student Art Gallery.
At his home in Kent, England Chris holds the National Collection for Hamamelis which comprises over 250 different types. His Royal Horticultural Society Plant Collector Guide-Witch Hazels published by Timber Press is a highly valuable reference on the genus.
While viewing the collections, Chris also told us that he is on the Woody Trial Committee for the Royal Horticultural Society. They have just completed a massive trial on the cultivars of Hydrangea paniculata and will be presenting their top award, AGM (Award of Garden Merit) to ‘Limelight’, ‘Phantom’, ‘Big Ben’ and Pinky WinkyTM. H. paniculata ‘Limelight’ was featured at the 2007 Scott Associates’ Plant Sale. A planting of ‘Limelight’can be found at the Scott Arboretum behind Parrish Hall next to the Parrish West Circle.