Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two Witch hazels with some history!

Hamamelis mollis 'Coombe Wood' & Hamamelis japonica var. arborea

The larger flowered plant is Hamamelis mollis ‘Coombe Wood’. In his book Witch Hazels Chris Lane writes that ‘Combe Wood’ was the cultivar name given to the only seedling to germinate & survive from the first batch of H. mollis seed sent back from China to the Veitch Nursery in England by Charles Maries in 1879. Though it wasn’t identified as H. mollis until some 20 years later by George Nicholson the curator of Kew. It was then given the Cultivar Name ‘Coombe Wood’ (after the name of the Nursery where it was growing) & propagated.

The smaller flowered one is Hamamelis japonica var. arborea. In his book Chris writes that this was the first Hamamelis japonica to be sent back to Europe from Japan by the great plant hunter von Siebold in 1862. Originally as H. arborea & then as H. japonica var. arborea.

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