Corylopsis sinensis var. calvescens f. veitchiana

Plant of the month: March

Also known as: Veitch winter hazel

Family: Hamameliaceae

Native to: Western China

Blooms: early spring to autumn

Habitats: forest to 1200 meter a.s.l.

Where to find it at the BBG&G: Wilson Border 

The Veitch winter hazel is another stunning introduction from our former trainee Ernest H. Wilson. The famous plant hunter successfully introduced the plants from China around 1900 to the Veitch Nursery.

The plants have an upright habit. The leaves are oblong to elliptic, toothed, and turning from purple to green with age.

The inflorescences are the exquisite feature of this species. They are borne on pendant racemes (dangling flower stalks) up to 10cm in length the 6 to 20 bell shaped, fragrant yellow flowers with red anthers (the pollen bearing part of the flower). The red anthers are diagnostic as distinguish this plant from others in its species. The flowers are open in early spring before the leaves appear.

This deciduous shrub from the eastern Himalayas can be found growing on the edge of woodlands. It requires fertile, moist soil in partial shade to perform at its best and will only require pruning if it becomes too large for its space, pruning should always be carried out after flowering.

Eventually this shrub can become 2.5m tall by 2.5m wide.