Charles Day is Wave Hill’s Ruth Rea Howell Horticultural Interpreter.
Winter-blooming witch hazels are one of the joys of a visit to the garden in February.
They are in flower throughout the month whenever the weather is not completely frigid—even when it is snowing.
This witch hazel, Hamamelis ×intermedia ‘Orange Beauty,’ is situated near the Perkins Visitor Center and is looking at its best right now. It is covered in coppery-orange flowers which seem to glow when they are illuminated by the afternoon sun.
The thread-like petals, four to each bloom, curl up during a cold spell but they roll open again as soon as it passes.
The flowers give off a sweet scent on milder days and this can be enjoyed as you stand close by to admire the majestic views of the Palisades and the rest of the winter landscape.