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Hamamelis vernalis Sarg.

Ozark witchhazel, vernal witchhazel

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassHamamelidaeWind-pollinated shrubs
OrderHamamelidalesWitch hazels and related plants
GenusHamamelisWitch-hazel; name means “hooked fruit”
Speciesvernalis“Occuring in the spring,” from later winter/early spring blooms

About plant names...

Vernal witchhazel is native to the Ozark Plateau in central North America. The genus Hamamelis means “hooked fruit,” referring to the hooklike appearance of the dried seed capsules.

Identification: Plants are rounded shrubs that are typically about 8' (2.4 m) around, sometimes becoming much larger. Leaves are wrinkly, medium- to dark-green, oval, about 2-5" (5-12 cm) long and half as wide, with prominent veins. In the fall, leaves are chartreuse or golden-yellow. Flowers are fragrant, about ½" (1.3 cm) long, with four wavy narrow petals that are bright yellow to dull- or red-orange, with red centers.

Hamamelis vernalis (ozark witchhazel, vernal witchhazel)

Photo by Kurt Stueber.

Online References:

Hamamelis vernalis at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Hamamelis vernalis at Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum

Hamamelis vernalis on

Hamamelis vernalis at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Hamamelis vernalis on plantdatabase.uconn.edu

Hamamelis vernalis Sarg. var. tomentella (Rehder) Palmer


Hamamelis vernalis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Hamamelis vernalis (ozark witchhazel, vernal witchhazel)

1/19/2021 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Mass­a­chu­setts

Hamamelis vernalis (ozark witchhazel, vernal witchhazel)

5/22/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Mass­a­chu­setts
≈ 16 × 24" (41 × 62 cm)

Range: Zones 4-8:

About this map...