The First Signs of Spring: Witch Hazels in Bloom

Julie McCaffrey —  March 5, 2010
Witch hazel

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ in bloom in the Dwarf Conifer Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is showing the first signs of spring this week with the witch hazels coming into bloom. While these shrubs can be showy in three seasons, certainly their fragrant flowers that bloom at unusual times are of primary interest. They can be the latest (October) or earliest (February to March) shrubs to bloom, with their blossoms emerging while the brown seed capsules from the previous year are still attached to the branches. Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ has flowers in an unusual blend of red, yellow and orange. Most other witch hazels have yellow blooms. Come out and enjoy this first sign of spring at the Garden!

Julie McCaffrey

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Julie McCaffrey is media relations manager at the Chicago Botanic Garden and is responsible for promoting the Garden's programs and events through traditional and social media. Julie holds a B.A. in English from Northern Illinois University and an M.S. in Communications from Northwestern University.