Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Hamamelis x Intermedia ‘Vesna’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch
Hamamelis x intermedia 'Vesna' Flower (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Vesna' Flower (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: Winter

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 4m

Eventual Spread: 4m

Hardiness: 5a – 8b

Family: Hamamelidaceae

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Vesna’ is a medium sized, deciduous spreading small tree or large shrub. The light green alternate leaves emerge from short-stalked buds. The leaves are elliptic to nearly circular in shape, irregularly toothed along their edges and become a coppery orange in autumn. Some of the autumn leaves are retained on this tree through the winter months. Its fragrant flowers appear in clusters are orange/ yellow in color with and orange center. Its petals are long, thin and crinkled. The fruit is a two part capsule, 1 cm long, each containing a single 5 mm glossy black seed. It is usually grafted onto the rootstock of one of the other species of Hamamelis.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Vesna’ is commonly known as the Hybrid Witch Hazel Vesna. The species is a hybrid between Hamamelis mollis and Hamamelis japonica. This plant was introduced into the UK around 1932. Subjective research has been carried out on the relative fragrance and leaf retention of various Hamamelis species and varieties by the curators of  Scott Arboretum, unfortunately Hamamelis x intermedia Vesna’ is not included on this list.

The etymological root of the binomial name Hamamelis is derived from the Greek amamelis ‘a tree with pear like fruits’. Intermedia is derived from the Latin inter between and medius middle in reference to this hybrid being between its two parents in terms of characteristics. Vesna is derived from the Slavic name for mythological female character associated with early spring.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Vesna' (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Vesna' (21/01/2012, Kew, London)

The landscape architect may find  Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Vesna’ useful in dappled shade locations as a small tree with fragrant winter flowers and fantastic autumn leaf color.

Ecologically,  H. x intermedia ‘Vesna’ attracts members of the Lepidoptera family which includes butterflies and moths.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given  H. x intermedia ‘Vesna’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2005.

H. x intermedia ‘Vesna’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil, although it prefers neutral to acidic soils.

H. x intermedia ‘Vesna’ requires little maintenance.


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