My new Witch Hazel is in bloom! I planted it last May to add some structure to the front garden and I made sure to keep it watered through the dry days of last summer. This cultivar is “Purpurea,” but I think it should be called “Burgundia,” because the little flowers are more burgundy than purple. But niggling aside, what else flowers in Rhode Island in February?
The flowers are very pretty and most welcome at this time of year. They are also supposed to be fragrant, although I haven’t detected a fragrance. Maybe you have to stick your nose right up against them.
This shrub, whose correct botanical name is Hamamelis vernalis, or Ozark Witch Hazel, will grow to about 10 feet tall and is hardy in Zones 6-a to 9-b. I have read that it likes moist growing conditions, so I will water it faithfully when necessary. Other than that, it’s deer-resistant and generally care free. It even has lovely foliage in the fall.