Hamamelis vernalis seeds, known as Ozark Witch Hazel
Hamamelis vernalis belongs to the family of the Hamamelidaceae. It is native to North America where it occurs mainly in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. It is also known as Ozark Witch Hazel.
H. vernalis grows as a shrub that reaches a height of about 4 m.
The leaves are simple and alternate at the branches. They get 7 to 13 cm long and 6 to 13 cm long. The leaves are dark green and curly. The venation is clearly visible. In autumn the leaves get attractive yellow.
The flowers of H. vernalis are red, sometimes yellow or orange. They have a very pleasant odor. Due to that is it cultivated as an ornamental plant. H. vernalis has the most intensive smell of all Hamamelidaceae. The odor is already noticed when one has only one plant in the garden. H. vernalis blooms very late in the year (January to March) when most of the other plants are already out of bloom. The flowers are mostly grouped in clusters.
The fruit is a woody capsule and not a nut as one would suggest from the demotic name. The capsule contains two black seeds. To distribute the seeds away from the parental plant, the capsule opens explosive and throw the seeds up to 10 m away.
Cultivation from seeds:
H. vernalis grows best on sandy- clayey or gritty- clayey substrate. It is winter hardy and can stand temperatures up to minus 23°C.
The seeds have to be put in warm water for 12h. After that they should be stratificated warm for 3 months at a temperature of about 25°C. There after a cold stratification of about 2 month in the fridge is necessary. This simulates winter and summer period. This method is called double stratification. After that the seeds can be put into the substrate. The germination time varies.
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