In very early spring, before the leaves unfurl, Chinese witch-hazel has fragrant, spicy-scented deep yellow flowers with a tinge of red, crinkled like confetti. The new foliage is yellowish-green, deepening to medium green over the summer and turning yellow in fall.
- Deciduous (foliage falls off)
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
- Clay soil
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Compact tree (10-15 feet)
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Mixed border
- Late winter
- Early spring
- Mid fall
Size and Form
10 to 15 feet high and wide; rounded form at maturity.
Tree & Plant Care
Keep well-watered as scorch can occur in hot summers.
Disease, pests and problems
No serious pests.
Scorch can be a problem in hot summers.
Leaves open early and can be damaged by spring frosts.
Bark color and texture
Relatively smooth, gray or gray-brown.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, alternate leaves; 3 to 6 inches long; nearly round with broad teeth.
Medium green in summer; fall color yellow to yellow-orange.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Yellow flowers with 4 strap-like petals in late winter to very early spring; very fragrant.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Dry capsule; not ornamentally important.
Brevipetala witch-hazel (Hamamelis ‘Brevipetala’) : Yellow flowers with red coloring at the base of the petals. Leaves tend to persist in winter. Upright form. This cultivar is considered a hybrid between Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis) and vernal witch-hazel (Hamamellis vernalis).