|Corylopsis (Winter Hazel)|
These members of the witch hazel family are deciduous, multi-stemmed shrubs blooming in very early spring with flowers of light yellow in short, pendulous racemes. Branching habit is arching, producing a wide-spreading plant. You might be thinking forsythia at this point, but these are quite different; they bloom a bit earlier; the color is much softer; the flowers smaller, hanging in graceful tassels; and the habit is much more refined. Ultimate size depends upon the species, ranging from the smallest, dainty, fragrant, and floriferous,
C. pauciflora, Buttercup Winterhazel at 4-6 feet, to the fragrant, deeper yellow, C. platypetala at 10-15 feet. All are best for the woodland garden, acidic soil, and a bit of shade in Zones (5) 6-8. Since they bloom so early, they are susceptible to late frosts, so site them carefully.