Go Native—Grow Native

Submitted by Betsy Washington, Northern Neck Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society

Common witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana

The vivid yellow foliage of Common Witch Hazel in its fall glory. Photo by Betsy Washington

Every fall as the leaves begin to drop and little else dares to bloom, I look forward to the blooms of our common witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana, a lovely small deciduous understory tree that flaunts clusters of spidery yellow blooms along its bare branches.

They open just as its leaves turn vivid yellow and begin to drop in October, and tend to linger in the cool fall weather through November and sometimes into early December. The bright yellow flowers consist of…