When I measured my witch hazel Hamamelis ‘Amethyst’, the tree I am observing for Lucy’s tree watching meme, it seems to have put on a growth spurt, now measuring 95cms which is nearly 20cms more than when I first measured it in October last year! I might measure it again to double check, but of course as a young tree it has every right to get taller…
The sun was such today that a photo without shadows was going to be impossible, but even with the shadows you can see how fresh and green and fully clothed the plant is. All my witch hazels are now in a similar state of leafiness, including H ‘Zuccarineana’ which was the one that was almost flowerless this winter, thus thankfully showing she is still alive and happily kicking.
A close up picture shows the spent flowerheads and the leaves in more detail, the leaves very similar to an ordinary hazel but with less serrated edges. This similarity is purely superficial as they are not closely related at all. The origin of the ‘witch’ in witch-hazel appears to be in the Middle or Old English wiche or wice, meaning “pliant” or “bendable”. The use of these and hazel twigs, both equally pliable, as divining rods may also have influenced the “witch” part of the name.
More about witch hazels next month! In the meantime do visit Lucy’s Loose and Leafy blog to observe the progress of other trees.