Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Hamamelis vernalis (Ozark witchhazel) inhabits
gravel bars and rocky streambeds on the Ozark
Plateau in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
Why its range is so restricted compared to its
cosmopolitan cousin, Hamamelis virginiana
(American witchhazel), is a mystery. Perhaps
the ancient geology of the region holds the answer.
The two can be distinguished from each other
by flowering time and color. H. virginiana
flowers in the fall and has pure yellow flowers
while H. vernalis flowers in the spring (as
"vernalis" means spring) and has yellow flowers
with reddish inner calyxes. The bloom period,
however, can overlap as these were found
blooming during the same weekend (January
10 & 11).

Top: Hamamelis virginiana
Bottom: Hamamelis vernalis


Keith said...

Nice - spring is coming! Do they still have witch wigglers in the Ozarks?

Justin said...

Awesome! Two species of Hamamelis in one day! My favorite fact about Witch Hazel is that the leaves look like a silhouette of Cosmo Kramer's head. Check it out:

Virginia said...

You might be a botanist if... you think Witch Hazel looks like Kramer's head. I love it! As for the witch wigglers, haven't seen any yet...