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Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Corylopsis (Corylus and opsis, likeness; in foliage resembling the hazel). Hamamelidaceae. Woody plants, grown chiefly for their yellow fragrant flowers appearing in early spring and for the handsome foliage.

Deciduous shrubs, rarely trees: lvs. alternate, strongly veined, dentate: fls. in nodding racemes with large bracts at the base, appearing before the lvs., yellow; calyx-lobes short; petals clawed, 5; stamens 5, alternating with entire or 2-3-parted short staminodes; styles 2; ovary half-superior, rarely entirely superior: fr. a 2-celled, dehiscent, 2-beaked caps., with 2 shining black seeds.—About 12 species in E. Asia and Himalayas. These are low ornamental shrubs, with slender branches and pale bluish green distinct foliage; all are very attractive in early spring, when covered with numerous nodding spikes of yellow, fragrant flowers. Not hardy north of New York, except in sheltered positions. They grow best in peaty and sandy soil. Propagated by seeds sown in spring, best with slight bottom heat, and by cuttings of half-ripened wood in summer under glass; also by layers, rooting readily in moderately moist, peaty soil.

C. Griffithii, Hemsl. (C. himalayana. Hook., not Griff.). Shrub or small tree, to 20 ft.: young branchleta and lvs. beneath densely pubescent: lvs. subcordate: racemes 1-2½ in. long; stamens and styles much shorter than the obovate petals. Himalayas. B.M. Alfred Rehder.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

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Corylopsis spicata in flower
Corylopsis spicata in flower
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Class: Magnoliopsida
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Order: Saxifragales
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Family: Hamamelidaceae
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Genus: Corylopsis
Siebold & Zucc.
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Corylopsis is a genus of nearly 30 species of shrubs in the witch hazel family, Hamamelidaceae, native to eastern Asia with the majority of species endemic in China but with some also in Japan, Korea, and the Himalaya.

They grow to 2-6 m tall, and often with a crown wider than tall. The leaves are ovate with an acute apex and a serrated margin, 4-20 cm long and 3-15 cm broad. The flowers are produced in late winter in pendulous racemes 3-9 cm long with 5-30 flowers; each flower has five pale yellow petals, 4-9 mm long. The fruit is a dry capsule 10-12 mm long, containing two glossy black seeds.

Selected species
Native to China unless otherwise indicated

Cultivation and uses

Corylopsis Pauciflora
They are often grown in gardens for their very early, yellow flowers. They do have weak branches though, which are often damaged by heavy snow loads. Corylopsis prefers to grow in semi-shade or shade, protected from strong winds. It grows best on humus-rich soils. The sweetly scented flowering branches keep well in a vase. Corylopsis also makes good bonsai plants, especially C. pauciflora.


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