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Witch Hazel

Common Witch hazel, or Hamamelis virginiana, is blooming now at Teton Lodge. It is growing in full sun in a well drained soil. There are several different varieties to check out. Upright, vase shaped, rounded bush, spreading, horizontal spreading, and weeping varieties.     

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Witch hazel has an upright growing habit. It can grow 12 feet tall and wide in our area. If you are looking to add fall color to your landscape, consider placing for the yellow gold effect. Leaves are alternate, simple, broadly ovate, unequal offset leaf base, with large wavy teeth on the margins. The upper surface dark green and the lower surface a paler green.   

The flowers tell me winter is almost over. Beautiful yellow frilled flowers arise on the stems before foliage.   

Witch hazel has been purported to divine water sources. Early Native Americans would use witch hazel to find underground water sources. By holding the “dowsing” wands in each hand the wand would bend toward the earth when water was nearby.   

Another use of witch hazel is medicinal. An extraction can limit swelling of insect bites and relieve the pain of sunburn.   

On your next visit to the Memphis Zoo, check out what’s blooming. With winter almost at an end, we can look forward to a beautiful spring. If you are looking to add winter interest to your garden, consider planting witch hazel in a location you can admire from your windows.

Posted by Zoo Info at 2:33 PM

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