The latest thinking on ecological landscapes. Useful tips to improve our environment

Kim Eierman

Kim Eierman

Founder of EcoBeneficial!

Available for virtual and in-person landscape consulting, talks and classes.

Buy a copy of
The Pollinator Victory Garden!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Flickr_Hamamelis Vernalis

Spotlight on Great Native Plants: Vernal Witch-hazel

Vernal Witch-hazel aka Spring Witch-hazel (Hamamelis vernalis) is one of our earliest blooming native shrubs, flowering as early as January, but often in February or March.  Its orange, red or yellow flowers can appear while snow is still on the ground, and hug tightly onto the leafless branches.  The spicy, sweet fragrance of the flowers will often lure you even before you spot the showy flowers.  This hardy plant is native to rocky stream banks and sand bars Ozark plateau of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Hamamelis vernalis has a very long bloom time, as long as 4 weeks, and offers a pollen and nectar reward to any small native bees, honey bees or gnats who may venture out on the occasional warm and sunny winter day.  The plant grows well in moist to wet, slightly acidic soil,  in zones 4 to 8 and it is happiest in part sun to part shade.  You can expect the mature size to be from 6 to 12 feet high by 6 to 15 ft wide.

Let us know what  you have blooming in your garden right now and what state are you in!

Happy Winter Gardening from Kim Eierman at EcoBeneficial!

Photo: Hamamelis vernalis

Photo credit:  Flickr/JimthePhotographer


More from EcoBlog

Honey Bee on Big Leaf Maple

Critical Early Trees and Shrubs for Bees

In very the early spring, trees and shrubs with early blooms are critical for honey bees and our native bees.  Some provide both nectar and pollen, and some only offer  pollen.  As the growing season progresses, more resources become available to bees, but you can help them out in early…

Read More
Honey Bee on Poor Man's Patch (Mentzelia floridana)

Another Challenge to Honey Bees – You Can Help!

Backyard beekeeping has risen dramatically in the U.S. Unfortunately, in many areas there just aren’t enough nectar and pollen plants to go around to feed all the hungry honey bees. The result: starving honey bees or bees that seek out any sugary substance close at hand, in order to survive.…

Read More
Humming Bird and Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans)

Great Native Plants for Hummingbirds: What Are You Growing?

Want hummingbirds?  Skip the feeder (or add to it) and grow some of the native plants that hummingbirds favor.  Hummers particularly love red tubular flowers, so make sure to include some. Here are some hummer favorites: Native Perennials and more for Hummingbirds Agastache foeniculum (Anise Hyssop) Aquilegia canadensis (Canada Columbine)…

Read More