We’ve got three different kinds of witch hazels in a row down from the parking lot: “Arnold” blooming yellow (pictured left by Anne Armstrong) and “Jelena” (blooming orange-red, photo by Jennifer Look) are cultivar hybrids of Japanese and Chinese witch hazels (Hamamelis xintermedia, a cross breed between H. mollis and H. japonica). Both “Jelena” and “Arnold” bloom in March. Next to those two, we’ve planted native witchhazels (hamamelis virginiana)–a special cultivar named “Harvest Moon,” which drops its leaves before blooming in November.
Wada’s Memory Magnolia (magnolia kobus x. m. salicifolia) is planted near the playground in front of Centenary Church, by the Coleman/College entrance. It looks like someone waving farewell handkerchiefs, according to John Malone at Summershade Growing Trees. The blooms are pretty this March, but when this tree gets larger, it’s going to be spectacular.
Pistacia chinensis , Chinese pistache, is a small tree in the cashew family. These drought-hardy, heat-resistant trees have some of the best fall color you can find in the South. When I first saw the fall color on these trees at Macon State College and at Bold Spring nursery, I thought they looked like florescent plastic aquarium plants–unreal in their bright orange glow. They’re slow-growing and take awhile to get out of their awkward adolescent stage, but we’ve planted two fairly large pistaches in front of the pavilion thanks to the generosity of Wayne Johnson, who donated these two beautiful trees and many more to the park.