Friday, March 30, 2012

Hamamelis 'Jelena'

Last year I finally did what I always said I would do once I owned a home.  Plant a witch-hazel.  I love witch-hazels, and thanks to a weekly ID contest from a wholesale supplier (Oregon Pride Nursery - for those of you in the industry NOT buying from them - they are awesome!) I won a tree form Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena'.
Buds just opening

Fall color

Witch-hazels are one of the harbingers of spring, bursting forth with confetti-like flowers often before the snow is off the ground.  That certainly wasn't an issue this year as spring has come very early and mine has been done blooming for 2 weeks now.  Normally for those of us in the north, they would be in full bloom now.  But this year they started at the end of February!

Flowers open
'Jelena' is a great variety, one of the best actually; great form, copper flowers fade to light yellow as they age, and fantastic fall color in shades of yellow, orange and red.  The only drawback is the complete lack of the fragrance that witch-hazels are known for.

Hamamelis like a well-drained soil that doesn't dry out too quickly and will tolerate full sun to quite a bit of shade.  They are easy to grow and one of my favorite ornamentals that falls in the category of small-tree/large shrub.  They are great for early season pollinators, which this year consisted of flies, bees, and moths.

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