It’s sad to admit that the end of the alphabet doesn’t get much attention from naturalists’ contriving nature names. So this year instead of resorting to a perennial favorite, the Zebra Swallowtail, which we have called on five of the last six years, we are again branching into the name to highlight a great shrub, the witch haZel to stand in for ‘Z.’
The witch hazel’s claim to fame is it flowers in the fall or winter, producing skin petalled flowers that remind some of you humans of spider legs. Get it? Spiders, Halloween, witches?
We don’t actually, but this is a pretty neat tree that grows a nut from those flowers that wildlife find pretty tasty.
Witch hazels appear in suburban gardens as shrubs,
but in the wild the native species, Hamamelis virginiana, is an understory tree.
Give a witch hazel a spot in your yard–lots of late and early foraging bees will appreciate that you have extended the blooming season!
And this ends our 7th year participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. We love sharing nature in our suburban neighborhood and hope or readers have enjoyed this month of nature blogging, too. We will take a few days off, then resume with our blogging in a more casual manner, as befitting a group of squirrels!