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Plants from the Ground Up

Corylopsis—The Golden-Leaved Winter Hazel


This is such an elegant shrub, I love the graceful structure of Corylopsis—it holds the perfect balance between exuberance and restraint. Tassels of pale yellow-green flowers hang from bare grey twigs in early spring, just as pink leaf buds start to swell. As spring progresses the leaves open as unique, yellow heart-shaped leaves that are overlaid with rose. In summer these deeply veined leaves change to a gorgeous shade of chartreuse, the exact shade you will have is dependent on the light conditions—the more sun, the brighter the leaf. Do be careful, too much sun exposure can scorch the delicate leaves. Winter Hazel is a multi-branched open shrub that does not require any real pruning, only very light shaping, if at all. Hellebores and ferns planted at its feet make a perfect planting for a shady corner of the garden or as a foundation planting for the north side of your home. Autumn will bring about another wave of yellow color that is especially beautiful if planted where some afternoon sun shines through it.


Corylopsis spicata ‘Aurea’ forms a 6 x 6′ shrub, somewhat larger if the conditions are right. It prefers rich, moist soil and partial shade, although it can tolerate some dry shade. Plants are propagated from cuttings. USDA winter hardiness zones 5-8

For more photos, available sizes and prices, see Corylopsis spicata ‘Aurea’ at the Forestfarm Store.

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