Witch (Hazel) Hunting

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This lovely flower belongs to the Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis).  When I first saw this plant flowering, I assumed immediately that it was Common Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), however when I later went back looking at other H. virginiana photos, I realized that flower centers were yellow, not this vibrant red.  This gave me pause and I started searching for an explanation.  I soon identified this plant as H. mollis, which is something I have never come across before.  I found this specimen growing on Baldpate Mountain.  This was a good reminder that its important to stop and smell the flowers, because sometimes those flowers are not what you expect!

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