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Spring is so close—can you smell it? The Pallida Tree Form Witch Hazel pours out its spicy-sweet scent during the last days of winter, while the rest of the garden is still asleep. As soon as you catch a whiff of its intoxicating perfume, you’ll know that the finish line’s in sight, and pleasant spring days are just ahead. It’s an event you’ll look forward to every year. Plant your Pallida Witch Hazel near a path or entryway, so your guests can examine the interesting blossoms up close. The thin, curly, light yellow petals look like lemon zest and have the curious habit of curling up when the temperature drops sharply. Such funny little thermometers!
You may know Witch Hazel as an ingredient in facial cleansers and aftershave. This extract comes from an American Witch Hazel species that opens its small yellow blooms in the fall. The Pallida variety is a cousin to the American species. It originated in Europe from Asian parents. In a neglected Dutch arboretum, a Japanese Witch Hazel and a Chinese Witch Hazel growing near one another were pollinated by an early-season honeybee, producing hybrid seed. The folks at Wisley Garden in England acquired some of that seed and one of the seedlings they raised was Pallida. They introduced the new plant to the world in 1932. The original plant still brightens winter days at Wisley.
Pallida Witch Hazel will light up your landscape with luminescent yellow flowers in late winter, but it is a bit of a drama queen in fall, too. That’s when its rich green foliage takes on a cheerful golden glow.
How to Grow
The Pallida Witch Hazel naturally grows as vase-shaped shrub, but we have grafted it onto the trunk of a related tree called the Parrotia to lift it up off the ground and give it single-stem tree shape. The Parrotia is a tough tree and is adaptable regarding soil types. It is also quite drought tolerant once established, though regular irrigation (with good drainage) will yield the best results. Plant your Pallida Witch Hazel in a site that receives part shade or all-day sun. It will grow in deeper shade, but flowering may be sparse there. Because this is a grafted tree, you’ll want to be on the lookout for Parrotia branches that sprout from below the graft union and prune them out immediately. Look carefully, because the Parrotia and Witch Hazel leaves are similar.
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Size B Trees:
5-6' Tall. Specimen a year older than the size A version. Grown in our #15 tree container for an immediate landscape impact. Grafted on a Parrotia standard for great park interest.
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