Field of Science

Under planted and under appreciated perennials - winter hazel

While many people are familiar with witchhazel (Hamamelis), very few people know about winter hazel (Corylopsis), a close relative.  The two are similar in being early spring flowering shrubs, and in TPP's experience, both are dearly loved by bad bunnies.  Both shrubs have a nice fall color display too.  Winter hazel is also a bit less hardy, so check on cold hardiness as the species differ (TPP has C. spicata shown in flower.), and it would suffer dieback at the bottom end temperatures of zone 5, which haven't been realized in quite a few years now.  Winter hazel is a handsome, somewhat delicate looking, but graceful shrub, but the pale to lemon yellow inflorescences are the real eye-catcher.  This is certainly not a feature plant, but finding room for one in a shrub border works very well.  Unfortunately the plant is rather hard to find in the trade, so TPP started with just a stick, and it's slow initial growth and it's delectability to bunnies got things off to a slow start, and as Mrs. Phactor keeps pointing out to me, when it comes to woody plants, time is not on my side, so buy the biggest you can find.  The images above are from the Wikimedia Creative Commons courtesy of Kenraiz and Kenpei respectively.

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