February is unexpectedly interesting for blooms on the High Line. This month features three plants: witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia 'Pallida'), Dawn bodnant viburnum (Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'), and sweet box (Sarcococca hookeriana).
The rose-colored buds in the picture above are the beginnings of blooms on a Dawn bodnant viburnum, a shrub that flowers during the bleakest part of the winter. Its clusters of flowers have an excellent fragrance in late winter/early spring.
Witch hazel is another unique flowering shrub that blooms during winter months. Its long, narrow petals have been described in many ways--from the shape of a spider to strips of shredded paper.
In the past, European settlers in North America believed the plant possessed a magical ability that caused its branches to bend when near water. 'Witch' comes from the Old English wych, or 'bend'. Hazel, another plant believed to have the power to reveal water, grows commonly in Europe.
The beginnings of spring blooms are slowly beginning to reveal themselves, like the daffodil foliage in the picture above. Stay tuned!
View a complete list of plants in Section 1 here.