Sunday, June 26, 2011

Witchhazel, Witch Hazel, Witch-Hazel

In November of 2010, I discovered a Witchhazel shrub/tree along the tree line on the 10th hole of our neighborhood golf course. It was the yellow, thread-like twisted flowers that caught my eye. This graceful, delicate, small tree was loaded with flowers and a few very colorful leaves that had a mind to linger a bit longer on the branches.

For those who are new to my blog, the 10th hole has a treasure-trove of trees. So far, I've identified 30 different species.... and those trees run right along the cart path!  I'm sure, when I get my snake boots and walk into the woods a bit, I'll find even more. This patch of woods is a classic bottomland hardwood forest because of its variety of trees, shrubs and rich, moist soil. About 15 feet in from the cart path, shallow water is always present. Thus, I want snake boots!

In last year's Witchhazel research, I learned that fruit forms on the branches the year following the flowers and will mature in October - November. I've been eagerly awaiting fruit development. In early June I began to notice fruit bearing trees were changing. Where Sparkleberry shrub/tree's flowers were in May, now tiny berries are appearing. The Hickory trees are sporting nuts, Red Cedars are decorated with their delightfully blue berries...... and, the Witchhazel trees has fruit :)

The pen sketch and some of the color was added on location. I didn't quite have enough time as golfers made the turn onto #10 a tad quicker than I had hoped. So, I drove the golf cart further down 10 to an area that had a good sized spot where I could pull to the side and continue my discoveries without fear of being bopped on the head with a golf ball.  Stay tuned for my next page :)

P.S. I found 3 different ways the name for the tree was spelled... thus my title :)