Witch Hazels are balm for the gardener's soul with their delightful habit of blooming on bare branches in midwinter when little else is going on in the garden. The fragrant petals unfurl on mild days and roll up when the temperature drops, awaiting the next warm day to perform again. On many varieties, a fresh-smelling perfume is released, particularly wonderful coming in winter as it does. The blooming period of a particular Witch Hazel can be as long as two months. Early Witch Hazels start blooming here at Fairweather Gardens around Christmas; the next wave begins in mid-January, and later Witch Hazels show their first flowers in early February. The handsome foliage remains clean all summer and generally displays fine autumn colors of red and gold. Witch Hazels are slow growing, and most will reach 15 to 20 feet after many years. Some Witch Hazels are not so big, and we've noted which ones in the individual descriptions. All are amenable to shaping as espaliers. They do best in full sun or part shade with moist organic soil, and there are no significant pests. If you need more encouragement, then pick up Chris Lane's Witch Hazel book, recently out from Timber Press. Be sure to place your Witch Hazel along an oft-traveled path where its remarkable display will beguile you and your visitors.

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Hamamelis 'Agnes' - Witch Hazel

Brick red flowers with some burnt-orange shadings appear in midseason on a vigorous plant. The spicy scented flowers are rather large and are nicely curled and crimped. Z. 5b-8

2-3 ft.
 
$ 59.95
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Hamamelis 'Angelly' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

If your space for a Witch Hazel is a bit tight, then 'Angelly' is a good one to consider. Differing from most Witch Hazels, which spread as wide as tall, 'Angelly' has a distinctly upright form, a good deal narrower than tall. It produces clear light yellow flowers late in the Witch Hazel season (February/March), and in fall the leaves turn yellow. A relatively recent introduction from the Netherlands, where it snared a gold medal in the 1980's. Z. 5b-8

20-30 in.
 
$ 59.95
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Hamamelis 'Aphrodite' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Absolutely stunning burnt-orange flowers appear in February—a real color breakthrough in Witch Hazels. The plant is also quite vigorous, so there'll be plenty of flowers to enjoy. Excellent fragrance, too. Z. 5b-8

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Arnold Promise' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Butter-yellow flowers with excellent fragrance are borne in great profusion in mid-February. This neat vase-shaped plant is a particularly reliable performer, blooming well even after the coldest winters. By mid-February masses of fleecy golden flowers open in such abundance as to obscure the branches—a sure cure for winter doldrums. An Arnold Arboretum release. Z. 5b-8

15-20 in.
 
$ 39.95
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Hamamelis 'Arnold Promise' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Aurora' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Chris Lane reports that 'Aurora' has the largest flowers yet seen on a Witch Hazel, and they are fine flowers indeed! Elegant and slender, they are deep yellow with burgundy shadings at the base, and they carry a sweet scent. Midseason flowering. Z. 5b-8
Specimen Plants, grown in 5-gallon pots.

40-50 in.
• Additional Handling •
$ 89.95
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Hamamelis 'Barmstedt Gold' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Rich golden yellow flowers, stained red at the base, appear in great numbers in late January and through February. The flowers are enhanced by a sweet perfume. This introduction from Germany grows vigorously upright. Z. 5b-8

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Bernstein' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

In German 'Bernstein' means "amber," and that's the effect created by the glowing flowers of this recent selection. The petals are actually gold flushed with red at the base, and it's from a distance that the amber effect is perceived. Flowers are quite large and open from mid through late winter. We have noticed a light but sweet scent. A vigorous upright-growing shrub. Z. 5b-8

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Birgit' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

'Birgit' has the brightest true red flowers yet seen on any Witch Hazel. The twisted and crimped flowers are particularly enchanting when backlit by the sun. This de Belder introduction grows as a rounded but upright shrub, slightly taller than wide. Even when young, 'Birgit' has a neat habit of growth, mimicking its mature look. Flowers have a light scent, and they typically open in February. Z. 5b-8

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Cyrille' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Nicely scented, 'Cyrille' has straw-yellow flowers with a hint of red. Ultimate size about 9 feet high and wide. Z. 5b-8

20-30 in.
 
$ 49.95
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Hamamelis 'Danny' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Dark red flowers become a paler red towards the tips of the petals and emit a spicy scent—one of our favorites. Bloom typically begins in late January. 'Danny' grows broadly vase shaped to 10 feet high and wide. In fall the foliage often turns orange red. Z. 5b-8
Limited quantity.

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Diane' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Distinctive orange-red flowers, shading to ruby red, appear in early February. 'Diane' also shows a particularly fine red fall color. PHS Gold Medal. Z. 5b-8

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Double Gold' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

This variegated branch sport of H. 'Westerstede' has it all: primrose yellow flowers in late February and March, and gold/green variegated leaves in summer! The flowers have a light scent. Z. 5b-8
Limited quantity.

2-3 ft.
 
$ 59.95
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Hamamelis 'Foxy Lady' - Witch Hazel

Brand new from Witch Hazel expert Chris Lane and just arrived in North America! 'Foxy Lady' is reputed to be the darkest and and largest red to date. Color saturation is good and remains strong without fading. Flowers also carry a pleasant fragrance. In the competition for "the best red" Witch Hazel, 'Foxy Lady' moves right up to the front runners. Z. 5b-8

18-24 in.
 
$ 59.95
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Hamamelis 'Foxy Lady'

30-36 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Gingerbread' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

A de Belder selection from the mid-1990's, 'Gingerbread' has scented, dark orange flowers in late winter. The medium to dark green foliage flushes out purple in spring. A sweet scent adds to the appeal of this Witch Hazel, which is one of our favorites. Z. 5b-8

2-3 ft.
 
$ 59.95
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Hamamelis 'Gingerbread' - Hybrid Witch Hazel


Specimen Plants, grown in 5-gallon pots.

40-50 in.
 
$ 89.95
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Hamamelis 'Harry' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Light orange flowers with a nice fresh fragrance are borne in midwinter in exceptional abundance on a compact growing plant. Fall foliage colors golden yellow. Z. 5b-8

2-3 ft.
 
$ 59.95
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Hamamelis 'Jelena' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Wonderful coppery flowers begin appearing in late January, and from afar 'Jelena's fiery glow illuminates the winter landscape. A fine selection with especially good orange-red fall color. This older introduction is still pretty hard to beat and is one of our favorites. Z. 5b-8

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Jelena' - Hybrid Witch Hazel


Nice stocky plants, grown in 5-gallon pots.

30-40 in.
 
$ 89.95
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Hamamelis 'Kim' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Just introduced, 'Kim' has clear red, medium-sized flowers with a spicy scent. Flowering takes place in mid to late winter. This moderate-growing shrub has fine fall color in shades of orange and red. Z. 5b-8
Limited quantity.

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis 'Orange Encore' - Witch Hazel

Those of us who grow Witch Hazels often admire their attractive foliage, and here's a selection introduced specifically because of its foliage. New leaves emerge in spring and all through the growing season with maroon-red shadings before maturing to green. Fall color is crimson. Small yellow flowers open late in the season, often with the first leaves. Z. 5b-8

18-24 in.
 
$ 49.95
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Hamamelis 'Rochester' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Flowers can bloom as early as December, and they continue off and on all through winter, into February, as weather permits. Flowers are coppery orange and they carry a strong and spicy scent. Formerly believed to be a selection of H. mollis, it has now been determined to be a hybrid. Z. 6-8
Limited quantity.

3-4 ft.
• Additional Handling •
$ 79.95
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Hamamelis 'Sweet Sunshine' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Fragrant, bright yellow flowers open late in the season and into early spring on this selection from Richard Jaynes. It has an upright habit of growth, ideal for fitting into a tight space. Originally thought to be a selection of H. mollis, it has now been identified as a hybrid Witch Hazel. Z. 5b-8
Shapely Specimen Plants, grown in 5-gallon pots.

30-40 in.
 
$ 89.95
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Hamamelis 'Vesna' - Hybrid Witch Hazel

Lovely butterscotch-colored flowers with a strong, sweet scent appear in midseason on an upright shrub. A recent European selection rarely offered in the U.S. Z. 5b-8

24-30 in.
 
$ 59.95
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Hamamelis mollis 'Gold Edge' - Variegated Chinese Witch Hazel

While fragrant yellow flowers make their expected appearance in early to midwinter, the real show on this plant are the leaves, which display a thin creamy band along their edges. This cream color traces the edge of the leaves fairly precisely, creating a jolly and artistic effect. Z. 6-8

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis mollis 'Wisley Supreme' - Chinese Witch Hazel

We've grown Hamamelis mollis in our garden for years, and it never fails to enchant when golden yellow flowers with excellent fragrance start appearing around Christmas. Flowering continues until early March, one of the longest seasons of any Witch Hazel. 'Wisley Supreme' is a particularly fine selection with large flowers, and it hails from the Royal Horticulture Society's Wisley Gardens. Chris Lane speculates that it may well have been raised from seed collected in China in the early 20th century by legendary plant explorer E.H. Wilson. Z. 6-8
Nice stocky plants, grown in 5-gallon pots.

3-4 ft.
• Additional Handling •
$ 89.95
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Hamamelis vernalis 'Amethyst' - Ozark Witch Hazel

If you want flowers in winter but live in an area too cold to grow the hybrid Witch Hazels, this is the species to consider. The Ozark Witch Hazel proved completely hardy in tests at the University of Maine at Orono (Zone 4). The flowers are not as large as those on the hybrids, but they are intensely fragrant. Besides its hardiness, Ozark Witch Hazel is prized for its fine foliage, which often colors spectacularly in fall. Striking lavender-purple flowers are the principal draw on this unusual selection from Ohio. Not to be overlooked is the sumptuous red and orange fall color. A little less vigorous than typical for the Ozark Witch Hazel, it reaches 8-10 feet. Z. 4-8

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis vernalis 'Dishi' - Ozark Witch Hazel

'Dishi' means fragrant in Slovenian, and flowers emit a scent that is sweet and spicy and can be noticed from a considerable distance in midwinter. Flower color is coppery orange-red. Excellent orange-red fall foliage, too, on this de Belder selection. Z. 4-8

3-4 ft.
 
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis virginiana 'Green Thumb' - Eastern Witch Hazel

A recent selection from Tennessee with yellow/green variegated leaves. Native to much of the East, H. virginiana has its own delightfully idiosyncratic season of bloom: Perfumed yellow flowers open in October and November just as the leaves are ready to fall, imparting an unexpected fragrance to late autumn days. Z. 3-8

20-30 in.
 
$ 49.95
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Hamamelis virginiana 'Harvest Moon' - Eastern Witch Hazel

Eastern Witch Hazel typically blooms just as the leaves are ready to fall, somewhat obscuring the flowers. This selection from Richard Jaynes, however, has finally answered the call for a fall-blooming Witch Hazel that blooms after the leaves have fallen. 'Harvest Moon' blooms on bare branches from early November right through Thanksgiving; moreover, its closely-spaced lemony yellow flowers are decidedly showier than the regular species. A large shrub to 18 feet high after 15 years. Z. 3-8

3-4 ft.
• Additional Handling •
$ 69.95
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Hamamelis virginiana 'Little Suzie' - Eastern Witch Hazel

We have Harald Neubauer of Tennessee to thank for this semidwarf selection of the Eastern Witch Hazel. Scented yellow flowers bloom in mid to late autumn on a compact shrub 4-5 feet high and wide. In fall the leaves turn yellow. It's sometimes difficult to find space for the Eastern Witch Hazel, which can grow to a lusty size, but 'Little Suzie' solves that dilemma in a fragrant and colorful way. Z. 3-8

15-24 in.
 
$ 39.95
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Hamamelis virginiana 'Mohonk Red' - Eastern Witch Hazel

Here it is, folks, a red-flowered Eastern Witch Hazel! Not the dark red seen on some hybrids, but a fine light red which shades to yellow at the tips of the petals. Flowers have a nice fragrance and open in mid-autumn along with the species. In his new book on Witch Hazels, Chris Lane writes that there have been off-and-on sightings of red-flowered Eastern Witch Hazels for over a century. This selection from the Mohonk Nature Preserve in New York State is probably the reddest one found so far. Z. 3-8

30-40 in.
 
$ 69.95
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