All about witch hazel – Hamamelis of every hue at RHS Wisley


Hamamelis x intermedia Orange Peel –  a fine, deeply coloured witch hazel


Hamamelis x intermedia Orange Peel (above and below) a fine specimen at the base of Battleston Hill at RHS Wisley.


(below) Hamamelis x intermedia Pallida – lighting up the woodland slopes at Wisley


(above) Hamamelis x intermedia Pallida is deservedly one of the most popular witch hazels, with large sulphur yellow flowers held in dense clusters along the naked stems. Fragrant too…


(above and below) Hamamelis x intermedia Vesna – a vigorous and upright large shrub, with strongly fragrant deep orange-yellow flowers well over 3cm across. The hanging petals are flushed red at the base and the calyx is deep red.

(below) Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena


(above) Hamamelis x intermedia Jelena is a superb large variety of vigorous, spreading habit with large, broad, softly hairy leaves that turn orange, red and scarlet in the autumn. The flowers are over 3cm long, in dense clusters, and yellow suffused with a rich coppery red, so as to appear orange. AGM 1993.

(below) Hamamelis x intermedia Harry


(below) Hamamelis mollis  Jermyns Gold


I’ve decided that this is going to be a ‘Photo Essay’ and leave the nitty-gritty of the how/where and etceteras of cultivation for another time! They are a woodland plant, preferring moisture retentive soil rich in organic matter, free draining and on the neutral to acid side of things. They should be allowed sufficient room for their often spreading habit and placed where the winter sun might light them up on an afternoon in January or February, when they flower on naked stems. Not so far out of reach in the scheme of things that their fragrance cannot be captured up close, that is. Foliage is variable, sometimes a real treat and can put on a good autumn show. And so on!

Further reading –

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