Native Plant Database

Header Photo: Mervin Wallace

Vernal Witchhazel

Hamamelis vernalis
Plant Type: Shrubs
Native Environment: Wetland, Stream Edge
Season of Interest: Winter (Nov - Mar)
Main Color: Yellow
Fall Color: Gold
Hardy From Zone: 4
Hardy To Zone: 8

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Hardiness Zones

Midwest map of zones 5 (north), 6, and 7 (south)

as defined by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map; (hardiness zones are not recorded for all Grow Native! plants)
Sun Exposure 
Full Sun, Medium Sun/Average Shade
Soil
Moisture
Dry, Moderate, High
Nature Attracting
Pollinators/Beneficial Insects
Wildlife Benefit
Cover, Food/Birds
Animal
Resistance
Deer Resistant
Size

Height:

6 to
10
feet

Spread:

6 to
8
feet
Size
Height: 6 to
10
feet
Spread: 6 to
8
feet
Size
Height: 6 to
10
feet
Spread: 6 to
8
feet
Typical Landscape Use
A fantastic shrub to give rare winter interest to a garden.
Establishment and Care Instructions
Full sun-medium sun/average shade. Moist soil is preferred although average to moderate moisture will suffice.
Special Features
Special Usage
Fragrant, Fresh Cut Flower
Basic Description

This unique native shrub flowers from late winter into early spring, when little else is blooming in the landscape. The fragrant flowers are clustered or solitary, yellow to dark red in color, and have four strap-like petals that are 1/4″-1/2″ long. The petals curl up on very cold days as an adaptive mechanism to protect them from freeze damage and create quite a show against the gray-brown bark, especially on snowy days! Flowers can persist for 3-4 weeks! A hard woody fruit capsule 1/2″ long splits down a 2-parted tip in Sept.-Oct.. Seeds are forced or ‘shot-out’ to a distance of 30′! The seeds and flowers are eaten by turkey and ruffed grouse. Twigs, leaves and bark are the basis of witch hazel extract.

Where Should I Start?

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What’s the Next Step?

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Where Can I Find This Plant in Nature?

Learn about the Native Environment(s) inhabited by the plants in this database.

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