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Photo of the Frisella Nursery Garden Center

Vernal Witchhazel

Hamamelis vernalis

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Vernal Witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis) at Frisella Nursery

Vernal Witchhazel flowers

Vernal Witchhazel flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Vernal Witchhazel (Hamamelis vernalis) at Frisella Nursery

Vernal Witchhazel in fall

Vernal Witchhazel in fall

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  9 feet

Spread:  13 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Witch Hazel


A medium sized shrub highly prized for the winter garden, featuring showy yellow flowers with red bases along the bare branches in late winter; spreading habit of growth and reliable gold fall color; very adaptable plant, flowers are hauntingly fragrant

Ornamental Features

Vernal Witchhazel has fragrant gold strap-like flowers with red calyces along the branches from late winter to early spring before the leaves. It has green deciduous foliage which emerges burgundy in spring. The serrated oval leaves turn an outstanding yellow in the fall.

Landscape Attributes

Vernal Witchhazel is a dense multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Suckering

Vernal Witchhazel is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Vernal Witchhazel will grow to be about 9 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 13 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Fall Color 
Ornamental Features

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