Friday, February 22, 2008

More photos of witch hazels and a late night bandit

Native or common witch hazel. Hamamelis viginiana. The yellow flower petals which may actually be bracts are much shorter than the petals on hybridized plants. See below for comparison.

Yellow and red hybrid witch hazels.

Yellow witch hazel in landscape.

Bandit! Sorry about the blurry photo. The double pane glass and low light conspired to make a less than sharp portrait.

'Hasta la vista, baby'


Blogger kate said...

I didn't realise there was such a marked difference in petal (or bract) size between the native and the hybrid Witch Hazels. I love Witch Hazels ... wish that I had one.

6:44 PM  
Blogger GardenJoy4Me said...

I wish I could fit one in my little Eden too ! Very nice pictures .. and a hoot with the raccoon !
Joy : )

5:32 AM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Did the raccoon ring the doorbell? It almost looks that way ;-)

4:19 PM  
Blogger Ki said...


The hybrid bracts appear to be twice as long as the native witch hazel's but the flowers are quite small so the display is not very conspicuous with either shrub and less so if it were not winter with almost no other plant blooming. I guess the witch hazels depend on wind blown pollen rather than pollinators for fertilization since it insists on blooming when there are few if any pollinators around.


Hi Garden Joy 4 me,
The raccoon was very large and well fed. I hope this wasn't the one that ate our 4 koi last summer. :(

I don't know what USDA zone you live in- 3?, 4? but the USDA lists the H. virginiana as growing in all of Ontario and Quebec so you could possibly grow one. Thanks for visiting.


The raccoon was a big one. I bet if she/he stretched to her/his full length it could almost reach the door bell!

Our cat goes out anytime he wants and often at night. I sometimes don't turn on the porch light and just open the door to let him in when I peek out from the windows next to the door and see a dark shape. I wouldn't be surprised one day to absent mindedly open the door and have the raccoon saunter in.

When I took the pictures I noticed our cat hunkered down in the brush after the raccoon had departed. Since he attacked the fox last summer I wouldn't be surprised if he took on the 'coon. What a mess it would be if the 'coon came into the house followed by our cat where our mixed breed dog, a Shar-pei/terrier would surely mix it up with the raccoon. It could be a horrendous 3 way fight with me trying to grab a broom to separate them. In the future I better turn on the light just to be sure I let in the right animal. :)

6:47 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

The witch hazel photos are always nice to see - especially for those of us who don't see them in real life.

Your comment response makes me wish for visuals, Ki - the cat would probably be a little irritated if you started welcoming the masked imposter into the house. Maybe you should install one of those porch lights that detect motion and turn on automatically ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

7:42 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Annie,
I have an aversion to those motion dectecting lights. Our neighbor in an overreaction to an early morning incident where someone,probably some disoriented drunk college kids, banged on their door at 3 am, immediately hired an electrician to surround their home with motion detecting flood lights. The lights come on whenever a wild cat or other critters including me come within 30 feet of their house. I feel like there's a prison break every time they come on and I'm caught in the lights. You may ask what I'm doing out in the dark - I walk the dog v. early in the morning and at night. So no motion detecting lights for me. ;) I really should be careful what I open the door to.

The witch hazel display is not v. spectacular. The photos make it seem more than it actually is. The winterberry hollies are much more brilliant but somehow a plant that blooms in the dark of winter definitely is welcome in our garden.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Miranda Bell said...

Witch Hazels are on my must have list for next year - they're so beautiful and out when colour is needed in the garden too! We certainly don't get Racoons here so I can't compete on that one!

3:38 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Ahhh, then you're missing out on some excitement Miranda Bell. The cat and dog get quite agitated when the raccoon is visible through the door side glass. Our nasty cat will even make lunges hitting the glass and becomes even more furious when the raccoon nonchalantly looks up from its feeding.

I would recommend one of the hybrid witch hazels. They have longer colored bracts and are much more visible. Also be aware that some grow very fast while others remain dwarfed and because of that are easier to place in a established garden. Thanks for your comment.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Miranda Bell said...

Thanks Ki for your suggestions on the Witch Hazels - getting different varieties in France isn't always easy but will bear in mind going to buy one! Racoons in France would definately liven things up from your descriptions! We do have other wildlife here like hedgehogs,foxes and also Coypu in the stream in our woodland! None of them are that tame they come to the door though! Happy gardening - Miranda

2:10 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Miranda Bell,
What's a Coypu??

I had to look it up. Nutria. Yikes what a pest. Like a giant voracious guinea pig.

Hedgehogs look neat (we don't have them here) but we got an African pygmy when they were popular many years ago for our daughter and he was a mean tempered devil even if supposedly hand raised. We weren't unhappy when he escaped from a fenced in enclosure in the yard.

8:43 AM  

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