While stomping through the garden this afternoon, a glimpse of yellow was spied through brown stems of what has grown to become a wide spreading clump of toad lilies (Tricyrtis). In winter, I typically stay to the edges of the garden as all noteworthy winter bloomers reside where they are easily seen, but I was trying to find a tiny wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) planted a year ago that was lost in the mishmash of tall toad lilies and Verbena bonariensis.
Possibly, I found the wintersweet, though this will not be confirmed until April since it has no flower buds. But, while clearing stems of the toad lily so the tiny shrub would not be chopped out with the spring cleanup, I saw the yellow, ribbon-like witch hazel flowers.
Now, I recall planting this and another in early spring a year ago. A red flowered common witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana ‘Mohonk Red’) did not survive the competition for sunlight, and without evidence of foliage I presumed the same fate for the other. A pleasant surprise to find it alive and flowering, and after a brief investigation, purchase receipts revealed this to be the yellow flowered witch hazel ‘Wisley Supreme’ (H. mollis ‘Wisley Supreme, above).
From October through March I treasure the succession of flowers from the common witch hazel to Vernal (H. vernalis, above) to early February flowering hybrids (‘Arnold Promise’, ‘Diane’, and ‘Jelena’). Once it gains size to stand above the toad lilies I’m guessing ‘Wisley’ will closely follow the Vernal witch hazels to flower the third week of January.
I had long forgotten this witch hazel, figuring it was lost to my negligence, and with a recent order placed for two additional common witch hazels, this is a welcome bonus.