I was in my neighbor’s backyard last week and noticed a large shrub behind an oak tree that looked like a witch hazel. I asked my neighbor if it flowers and he had no idea what it was or if it flowered. I was convinced they had an old witch hazel and the following day I happened to be working at a house that has a witch hazel. I picked up a broken branch with leaves as well as a branch with a seed pod on it to compare to my neighbor’s shrub.
When I went back to my neighbor’s, I looked more closely and saw the same seed pods on their shrub. (So it must have flowered.) I told my neighbors how excited I was that they had this old witch hazel, how it was vase-shaped, how it had fringe-like, very cool flowers in late winter before leafing out and how the fall color was a striking yellow.
I had been seriously thinking about buying a witch hazel this past spring but wasn’t sure where it would go in my yard. When I became the owner of 2 fothergillas (see last post) I felt I didn’t need a witch hazel yet; the fothergillas are in the same family. However, today I tried an experiment just for the fun of it – I put rooting hormone on the branch with leaves, stuck it in a pot with soil and will watch and see what happens.
The little branch with the unopened seed pod was on my kitchen counter and while I was making dinner last night I heard a POP and then saw something black go flying and land on the floor! The warmth of the house made the seed pod burst open and sent the seeds flying. I was lucky to have witnessed this explosion when it happened and was able to locate one seed on the floor. So I figured I would soak the seed in water and then plant it. I hope either the seed (eventually) or the branch with leaves will take root and I will keep you posted (it could be a while….)