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Hamamelis vernalis (Ozark witch-hazel)
Makin, Julie

Hamamelis vernalis

Hamamelis vernalis Sarg.

Ozark Witch-hazel, Vernal Witch-hazel

Hamamelidaceae (Witch-Hazel Family)

Synonym(s): Hamamelis vernalis var. tomentella

USDA Symbol: HAVE2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A small tree or large shrub to 15 ft. tall with multiple, crooked stems forming an irregular, open crown. Older stems assume an attractive gray to grayish-brown color. Its flowers, the first of anything to bloom, are yellow to red, four-petaled and 1/2 in. long. To avoid freeze damage, the petals roll up on very cold days. Fall color develops late and is an attractive golden-yellow.


From the Image Gallery

31 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Dec


USA: AR , MO , OK , TX
Native Distribution: S. MO to e. TX, e. to AL
Native Habitat: Rocky stream banks; moist, open woods

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Gravelly to clay soils.
Conditions Comments: Very flood tolerant. More tolerant of high pH than H. virginiana. Will sucker and form large colonies. Slow-growing and tolerates pruning quite well.


Description: Seeds sown immediately after collection will be exposed to a period of warm temperatures to complete after-ripening. Pretreated seed must be double-stratified seed. Witch hazel can be layered from new wood. Rooted cuttings supposedly come easier from
Seed Collection: Pick fruits from late August to September before they completely dry. Spread to dry so seeds can be removed from fruit capsules. Seeds can be stored in sealed, refrigerated containers or directly stratified over winter in moist sand and peat at 41 degrees.
Seed Treatment: Stratify at 86 degrees for 60 days followed by 41 degrees for 90 days.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hamamelis vernalis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hamamelis vernalis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hamamelis vernalis


Record Modified: 2022-10-05
Research By: TWC Staff

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