Seasonal Plant Partners: Hamamelis (Witch Hazel), Hellebores & Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter fire’

December 4, 2016 | Plants
Plant partners for witch hazel. Hellebores and Cornus.

Noticing yesterday that the tips of daffodils and spring bulbs are just beginning to poke through the ground, the branches of the willows have yellowed and the forsythia stems have swollen its obvious that the fresh yellows of spring are on their way.  But a lesser known and even earlier spring harbinger is the Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) which, in addition to reds and oranges is available in a range of beautiful yellows.

Hamamelis + Hellebore

hamamelis_intermedia pallida

image: the mixed border

My favorite is Hamamelis intermedia ‘pallida’. It is among the palest and it’s color reminds me of freshly churned butter.  The center of the flower is a deep burgundy and it would be a beautiful compliment to the interestingly uncommon Helleborus ‘Onyx Odyssey’ (available from Grobes Nursery).


image from Grobes Nursery

Hamamelis + Dogwood (Cornus)

On the other end of the yellow spectrum is the almost orange Hamamelis ‘Harry’.

Hamamelis harry

image from fairweather gardens

I think this would have an excellent companion in Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter fire’.  The stems fade from red to yellow and when planted in a clump they make a striking impact.  Combine with a few Hamamelis ‘Harry’ scattered about for something surprising and exciting at this time of year.

cornus sanguinea midwinter fire

image from crocus.

Fairweather gardens has a huge selection of Hamamelis  in the full red- orange-yellow color spectrum you are sure to find just the right shade.

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Blog Comments

Great plant combination ideas. Perfect to extend the fiery display around my maple tree. I have a couple arctic fire dogwoods but I am smitten witht the midwinter fire after seeing at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. The placement there is very dramatic. Any idea who sells the Midwinter Fire here in the states?

Gwen – It looks like Rare Find Nursery has sold it in the past … (perhaps out of season now). Also – I find that If I ask for something, better nurseries will often find it for me.

Thank you, I will look here. I just have to keep looking ’til it’s the right season! I will ask my local nursery too.(Weston Nursery in Hopkinton, MA). Love your posts by the way, your platform provide lots of great inspiration! Got hooked when your house tour was on DesignMom.

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