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Witch Hazel Selection Basics

 

These showy plants will create a surprise in the garden with an unpredictable blooming season

The witch hazel plant is also know as the fringe flower. The species list includes some interesting names and dazzling colors. The best thing about witch hazel is that there is probably a species that will be well-suited to any region. The ointment witch hazel comes from Hamamelis virginiana and branches are used as the mysterious divining rods that can supposedly detect water deep in the ground.

In cooler climates, the fringe flower is designated an evergreen. In hotter climes, the leaves may drop. Plants need partial shade and well-draining soil to thrive. Even they are drought-hardy, the plant will suffer temporary drooping and may not bloom as bountifully.

The fun part of planting fringe flowers is their off-and-on blooming, which can take place immediately after a rain or at any time during spring, summer, and fall. Foliage is also a delight to behold as it changes shades with the seasons.

The range in size matches its range of colors; witch hazel varieties can tower at more than ten feet or develop as low-lying bushes, which makes them an ideal border specimen.

Some of the more interesting fringe flower species include:

Firedance: foliage is purple-red and blooms are pink. Plant is compact.
Pipa's Red: blooms are pink/large; leaves are burgundy; plant is small.
Plum Delight: Blooms are mauve; plant is tall.
Purple Majesty: Blooms are fuchsia; leaves are purple, plant is tall.
Razzleberri: blooms are magenta; foliage ranges from reds to greens; plant is tall.
Snow Muffin: blooms are white, leaves are green; plant is small.
Zhuzhou Fuchsia: blooms are pink, leaves are dark maroon; plant is tall. Distinctive bark peels.

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