Hamamelis vernalis
Common name: 
Vernal Witchhazel
Ozark Witchhazel
ham-a-MAY-lis ver-NAH-lis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous shrub, to 6-10 ft (1.8-3 m) tall with a greater spread, rounded, multistemmed, branches bend upward near ends; may form colonies via suckers; new growth bronze to reddish purple.  Leaves alternate, simple, obovate to oblong-ovate, 5-12 cm long, about 1.5 cm or so wide, base wedge-shaped truncate, tip pointed, wavy margins above the middle, green above, green or whitish (wax) and nearly hairless below, 4-6 pairs of veins, turn yellow in fall.  Flower are small, yellow, orange, to red, 4 strap-like petals, each 5-8 mm long, reddish near the lower end; blooms in winter or early spring prior to leaf emergence.
  • Sun to part shade.  Best in moist situations, can handle poorly drained soils.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4    Native range from Missouri to Louisiana and Oklahoma.
  • Several cultivars available at specialty nurseries; these include dwarf and weeping forms, purple flowered types, and some with red fall color.
  • vernalis: of spring, a reference to its time of flowering
  • Salem, Oregon: Bush Prairie Park, west of the rose gardens.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flowering branches

    flowering branches

  • flowering branch

    flowering branch

  • flowers


  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall