Chinese witch hazel in flower
In Kew's Woodland Garden, the flowers of this plant are giving off a wonderful lemony scent
15 Apr 2010
Flowers of Corylopsis sinensis (Chinese witch hazel)
Close by the burgeoning peonies, an elegant fragrant shrub is illuminating the Woodland Garden. Found growing wild in the deciduous woodland of Northern China, the Chinese witch hazel (Corylopsis sinensis) is covered with small, hop-like soft yellow racemes of flowers which hang gracefully from mid spring to mid summer, emitting a fabulous lemony scent. The flowers appear before the leaves, in such profusion that in spite of their size they make a spectacular show.
As with other early flowering plants, the strong scent is necessary to attract the foraging insects, essential for pollination. The leaves are similar to a hazel, and are dark green above and blue green beneath.
This plant needs acid, well drained soil, and thrives in semi-shaded locations. If happy it is a vigorous grower with an attractive, open and upright habit, reaching a height and spread of about 12 ft.
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