Corylopsis veitchiana – Veitch's Winter Hazel

Corylopsis veitchiana – Veitch's Winter Hazel

Corylopsis veitchiana, or Veitch’s winter hazel, is one of the most beautiful of the winter hazels that we grow here at the Scott Arboretum. It flowers in late March to early April, gracefully bridging the gap between the garden’s winter and spring displays. A member of the witchhazel family, or Hamamelidaceae, Corylopsis veitchiana shares much in common with its relatives – early bloom time and the emergence of flowers on bare stems are typical of witchhazels and their kin.

The flowers of Corylopsis veitchiana are, frankly, amazing. Weeping racemes up to 3 inches in length are adorned with up to fifteen small, buttery-yellow flowers, whose light fragrance fills the air with a delicate perfume. The plant blooms prolifically, and is literally covered in golden chains of flowers. Whenever I’m in Cosby Courtyard, where this specimen is growing, I can’t resist stopping to admire it.

Corylopsis veitchiana is native to central China, where it’s found in mountainous areas at altitudes of 4,200 to 6,500 feet. In the United States, it’s cold hardy between USDA Zones 6-8. At maturity, this bushy rounded shrub can reach a height and spread of 8 feet. Like many other members of the witchhazel family, it prefers to be planted in fertile, moist, well-drained, acidic soil in a partially shaded site.

Shari Edelson
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