Witch-hazels bloom after almost all other plants drop their leaves in the autumn. This shrub (Hamamelis virginiana) grows in our eastern hardwood forests and kind of gets lost amongst the greens of summer and greys of winter. The new growth in spring can have some remarkable coloring and the bizarre flowers will stop you in your tracks. There are plenty of varieties available at nurseries with blooms ranging from the light yellow shown above to red. Bloom times vary as well, from fall to early spring. It seems that the species native to Ohio is the first to bloom, while varieties from Asia bloom closer to spring. This isn't for everyone- the growth habit isn't very formal and it gets quite large when mature. Our witch-hazel is a great representative of the forests of our region and is underutilized in the urban landscape.