Three or four sharp frosts have finally done for the leaves on the Hamamelis vernalis ‘Amethyst’ that I have been watching for a few months as part of Lucy’s tree watching meme. They have all made a rapid transition from green to yellow or somewhere in between, although most are still clinging onto the plant itself – no doubt ready to be blown off by the next significant gust of wind.
It was the same for ‘Harry’, the only other still-clothed witch hazel, and any other deciduous tree in the garden that still retained its leaves – an interesting observation, although not scientific enough to prove anything, as aspect and variety and other variables will inevitably play a part as well as temperature.
Observing this witch hazel regularly has inevitably also meant a closer observation of my other witch hazels, and comparisons between them in terms of leaf fall and flower development. Some of them have clusters of flower buds all the way up the stems to the very tips whereas others have them mainly on the lower parts – Amethyst seems to fall into this latter category. All have a relatively good sprinkling of buds except for H ‘Zuccariniana’ which has virtually none, and having lost its leaves far earlier than the others I am waiting to see whether the flower buds develop in a different way.
Although there are specks of colour on most of them already, I wouldn’t expect to see any flowers opening before January – but with the oddities of this year’s weather anything is possible. Amethyst is, however, the only H vernalis that I have and although reputed to flower between January and March I will keep an open mind. Perhaps January’s post (which I now realise is only a month away – doh!) will be a taster of what is to come – so do come back then and have another look as well as popping across to Loose and Leafy to check out other tree watching posts. Thanks to Lucy for facilitating this.