The magic of Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel, I remember it from my childhood…..a transparent liquid in a half pint bottle, administered when I can home bruised after a day at the local park, a not infrequent event.
I think it is still around and I remember keeping a bottle in my fridge for years when my children were small.

Witch Hazel, Hamamelis mollis is a wonderful shrub, a thing of legend.

These beautiful shrubs flower on bare branches before the leaves.

Hamamelis mollis Pallida is a lovely sulphur yellow variant that flowers in the icy grip of January. The spidery petals are long and with a delicate perfume that rises when in the warmth of a room.
There are darker coloured variants, two of which we grow. Jalena with coppery yellow flowers and Diane, a coppery red.
They are very nice shrubs , but as they flower later in late February/March they somehow don’t seem to make the impact of the early flowering Pallida.
All make an impact in autumn with wonderful rich yellow and red colourings.

Witch hazel is one of those glorious shrubs that you dream of having in your garden.
At Abriachan we had the chance and we planted Hamamelis mollis Pallida about 15 years ago. It is not exactly slow growing, but seems to take to time and it is only this year that I have felt confident to take a branch or two for the house.
I love it, a beautiful, classical beauty.


  1. I was just admiring the beautiful selection of witch hazels featured on The Garden the other day. Lovely plants that brighten up a winter's day with its blooms! Witch Hazel - a good sort of witch if I may add :)

  2. We dont grow any Witch Hazels, but I always think that we should. I guess the main reason we dont grow any is down to the foliage, perhaps we need to try and work out which would fit well into an exotic theme!

  3. Lovely photos! This is yet another 'would love to have' on my list; at some point I'll get round to acquiring one. I walked past a Witch Hazel in full bloom at the St. Andrews Botanic Garden last month and it stopped me in my tracks!


Thank you for leaving a comment - it is always great to hear about other peoples gardens and lives. If you ever drop by the nursery, make sure you say hello. (Margaret & Donald)

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