Mariton: Fall Flowers
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
A delicate and long lasting flower is found on Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) at this time of year. Witch Hazel is a large shrub or a small tree depending on who you talk to. Most would consider it a shrub as it doesn’t grow upright, but generally has a graceful arching form. I think of it as a small tree because even bent over, it can reach 20 feet above the ground. So, it provides another horizontal layer in a healthy forest.
There are a number of places at Mariton where you can find this beautiful tree. What I really like about witch hazel is that after the leaves fall off the delicate yellow blossoms will persist casting yellow halos in the woods. If you notice a faint yellow glow in the early winter woods, chances are it is coming from a witch hazel.